Possible DUI Penalties
Possible DUI penalties vary greatly from state to state, but in any event, are not to be taken lightly. Many states have mandatory minimum sentences that a judge must deliver, which means judges have to sentence you to at least that level, although they are free to go beyond it.
In some states, jail time is always mandatory even for a first offense. Some of those mandatory sentences for first offenders are as short as a day or weekend spent in jail, but remember this is still a criminal conviction that may stay with you on your record forever. Indeed, as a result of a DUI conviction, you are even likely to see your insurance rates go up, so it’s not only potential criminal penalties that should concern you about a DUI charge.
Because jail and other severe penalties are real possibilities, you should consult a DUI attorney in your state as soon as possible to discuss your options regarding plea bargains, going to trial, and more; under no circumstances should you simply agree to a plea bargain without at least talking to an experienced DUI attorney no matter how attractive the prosecuting attorney makes it sound.
Some of the other common DUI penalties across the country include but are not limited to the following:
- Abstaining from alcohol
- Alcohol abuse counseling/Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
- Community service
- Court costs
- DUI education classes
- Home monitoring/home detention/house arrest
- Ignition interlock devices on your vehicle
- Impounding of your vehicle
- License suspension/revocation
Of course the penalties for a felony DUI charge are more severe than those for a misdemeanor; moreover, repeat DUI offenses can also inspire a judge to hand out a harsher penalty. Other factors that may increase the severity of DUI penalties include the following:
- DUI with children in the vehicle
- Exceptionally high BAC
- Exceptionally reckless or careless driving
- Injury or death to another person
As state laws vary greatly on the issue of DUI penalties, it is essential that you consult an experienced DUI attorney about the specifics of your case and how state laws may affect you.