Driving under the influence is one of the most unique criminal allegations that we defend. The reason for this is twofold. First, it is one of the only crimes that a person can be convicted based solely on the opinion of the officer; and second, it is probably the only criminal allegation that we see which transcends socioeconomic status. I have represented very low-income citizens with substance abuse issues on DUI as well as physicians and professionals. Because of these issues, hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney is absolutely critical.
If convicted of Driving Under the Influence fist offense a person is subject to the following penalties:
A sentence of 11 months, 29 days, with a minimum of 48 hours in jail, or a minimum of 7 days in jail if, at the time of the offense, the defendant’s blood alcohol level was .20% or higher; AND
24 hours of highway litter removal;
A minimum $350.00 fine and court costs;
Loss of driver’s license for a period of one year; and
Enrollment in a court-approved DUI education course or Victim Impact Panel (often sponsored by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving).
License revocation for one year is also required when a defendant is found to have refused to submit to a chemical (blood, breath, or urine) test after being lawfully requested to do so. This may apply even where the defendant is not convicted of DUI. Also, a person convicted of DUI can expect to have additional issues in their life. Renting a car in the future can be difficult.
If the citizen has a professional license (doctor, lawyer, dentist etc) the conviction could impact their professional license. Also, some other countries, deny admission by citizens convicted of DUI; Canada, for example, has strict laws on this issue.
However, there are many ways to defend a DUI. And even if convicted, there are many things we can do to make the hardship on you and your family much less. Please, if you are a citizen accused of driving under the influence, please seek the advice of an experienced DUI defense attorney.