The Criminal Case
When you are charged with a DUI, you have two cases pending against you. Because driving under the influence is considered a criminal charge, you will face criminal proceedings and consequences. You must appear in court to defend yourself against the criminal charges. We can help you prepare your defense and make sure that your rights are protected throughout this process. If a judge or jury does ultimately find you guilty of a DUI, you face the following criminal charges:
A first offense DUI conviction will result in a fine of $500-1,000 and a jail sentence of no more than 6 months. Your jail sentence can be reduced to just 48 consecutive hours for a first offense, or you can have your entire sentence suspended and face probation instead. If you are placed on probation, you will also have to complete 100 hours of community service.
A second offense DUI conviction will result in a fine of $1,000-4,000, as well as a prison sentence of as much as two years. At least 120 days of this jail sentence must be served. In addition, you will be placed on probation and you must complete 100 hours of community service.
A third or subsequent DUI conviction will result in a fine of $2,000-8,000 and a prison sentence of up to 3 years. One year of this prison sentence cannot be reduced in any way. Again, you will also be sentenced to a period of probation and you will have to perform 100 hours of community service.
The DMV Hearing
As I mentioned, when charged with a DUI, you will have two cases pending against you. The first is the criminal case. The second is the DMV hearing, which will deal exclusively with your driver’s license. Because driving is a privilege and not a right, the DMV has the right to suspend your license. The criminal and DMV hearings are completely independent of one another. This means that even if you are found not guilty of a DUI and no criminal charges are brought against you, the DMV may still suspend your license. Many lawyers see the DMV hearing as a lost cause, and will not even bother showing up to it. At Bansley Law Offices, we not only attend the DMV hearing, but also provide evidence to defend your license. We never give up on our clients, and we have won DMV hearings!
Your license will be suspended for one year if the DMV believes that you are guilty of a first offense DUI.
A license suspension for a second offense DUI is a three-year license suspension. The first year of the suspension, you may not drive at all, unless you have a work or education permit. The last two years of the suspension, you are allowed to drive, but only with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle(s). You must pay for this device and it’s maintenance yourself.
A third or subsequent DUI offense will result in the revocation of your driver’s license. However, you may petition for your license to be reinstated after a certain period of time has passed. Your license may be reinstated if you have not been convicted of assault or murder with a motor vehicle, and if you use an ignition interlock device on all of your vehicles.
The Ignition Interlock Program
An ignition interlock device might be placed in your vehicles as part of your DMV punishment. This device measures your breath alcohol content and it is connected to your vehicle’s ignition. To start your vehicle, you must blow into the device. This device will then analyze the breath sample to determine if you are sober enough to drive. If your alcohol concentration is too high, your car will not start. The data collected by the ignition interlock device is recorded and provided to the police, so they will know how often you fail a breath test. In addition, the ignition interlock device gives rolling tests to make sure that you are the one providing the breath sample. While you are driving, you might be prompted to give a breath sample. If the sample fails, your vehicle will shut down.
The Pretrial Alcohol Education Program
If you are dealing with your first DUI offense, you are eligible for the alcohol education program. This is a diversionary program in which you will take alcohol education classes for 10-15 weeks. If a judge agrees to let you into this program, and you complete it, the DUI conviction will not appear on your criminal record. This program costs $200, and an additional $350 if you attend the 10-week program, and $500 if you attend the 15-week program.
You don’t have to face a DUI charge alone. Let a professional handle your defense so that you can rest easy and focus on your personal life. We are equipped to provide aggressive, creative defense in your DUI case. Please contact us for a free consultation in which we can discuss your case.