It is common knowledge that if you are arrested and face a criminal charge, there will be consequences. But the punishment for criminal violations vary from case to case, depending on the type of charges filed against you. For a DUI case you can expect to have to fight for your freedom, and also for your right to drive. But, there are other possibilities, and it is helpful to know what you are facing so you can make informed decisions about how to defend your case.
Five of the most common DUI penalties, when the driver is a first time offender, are as follows:
- Payment of a fine that can be as high as $2,000.The amount varies because people have different levels of alcohol in their blood (the BAC), and the fine is sometimes tied to that figure. The higher your BAC, the higher fine you might expect to pay.
- The need to agree to go on probation as a way to resolve the case against you, which might mean you have to do some community service or attend driving school. In some instances the defendant will also have to attend drug and/or alcohol treatment programs. The exact terms of your probation depend on the specific facts of your case.
- If you are not a candidate for probation you can face up to six months in jail, depending on the facts of your case. The possible jail term increases with subsequent cases, and may even be increased if there are extraordinary circumstances for a first time offender.
- Your car might be impounded at the arrest scene, and you will have to pay a fee to get it back. This is not necessarily a penalty, but it sure can feel like a punishment to have to jump through hoops and pay fees to recover your vehicle.
- You will have your license taken from when you are arrested, but you can ask for it back or ask that you be granted a limited right to drive. Many first time offenders are granted this limited right, but that is not always the case for subsequent offenders or cases where there are other factors.
In order to minimize the penalties, call a qualified DUI defense attorney. We have experience defending all levels of DUI cases and can help you too. We know how to challenge breath test results, and also how to question whether the initial stop was valid. These are things you will want to consider as part of your defense, and we will let you know what else is needed.
For help with defending DUI charges, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. We help people charged with all sorts of crimes in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Call today to schedule an appointment.