Most states across the nation have a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving. Operating a machine, such as a vehicle car or truck, while under the influence is a serious crime that comes with serious penalties. In most jurisdictions, the severity of penalties depends on the blood alcohol level of the offender as well as the number of times the offender has committed a DUI offense in the past. You can expect the maximum penalties for a DUI if:
- You have multiple DUI’s on your record
- You caused an accident as a result of drunk driving
- You hurt or killed someone with your vehicle as a result of driving while drunk
- You were severely intoxicated while driving the vehicle.
If you are ever arrested and charged with a DUI offense, it is recommended you hire a criminal lawyer to defend you because another DUI entry in your driving record can have far-reaching implications. Some of the consequences of a DUI conviction include:
1. Jail Time
When you are arrested, you can expect to spend the night, or a weekend in jail. This jail time is meant to allow you to sober-up. It is also a form of punishment to discourage first-time offenders from repeating the mistake in the future. You can also be sentenced to 6 months in jail. In case of a DUI felony, however, you can expect to spend years in jail. You can be charged with a felony DUI in the state of California if; you injured or killed someone while driving under the influence, you have a prior felony DUI conviction, or you have 3 or more DUI convictions on your record. Hiring the most competent Los Angeles DUI attorney is even more important when you are facing a DUI felony charge.
2. Hefty Fines
If you are found guilty of a DUI, you will be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000. However, there are also other additional penalties and fees that you will be required to pay. If your license is suspended, you will also have to pay $125 for reissue, once the suspension has been lifted. The good news is that you can avoid these costs by hiring a competent lawyer to represent you in court.
3. License Suspension
When you are charged with the offense of driving a vehicle while under the influence, you can expect your driver’s license to be suspended either temporarily or permanently. If you are a first-time offender, your license will be suspended for a period of at least 4 months.
If you are the only licensed driver in your family, you will have to find an alternative means of transportation for you, your spouse and the kids. You can hire a driver to drop and pick up your kids from school on a daily basis This can be incredibly costly in the long-term.
4. DUI Program
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that reflects badly on you as a person. That is why you will be required to attend a DUI program to help you become a responsible driver. The duration of the program depends on your blood-alcohol level at the time of the arrest. The higher the BAC, the longer you will be required to undertake the program. While it may be necessary, the program will waste a lot of your time.
Once convicted of a DUI, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) and pay for the installation. This device will ensure you cannot drive your car while intoxicated. It is important to note that the DUI conviction will go on your driving record, which insurers and potential employers can access. This means that you can miss out on employment opportunities that require responsible drivers. Getting auto insurance will also be a challenge because nobody wants to ensure a risky driver. Hiring a competent DUI lawyer will go a long way in ensuring you do not get a DUI conviction.
Hiring a Los Angeles DUI Attorney
There are many lawyers operating in the state of California, and many of them claim to offer the best DUI defense. Since you want the best results, you should give priority consideration to the most experienced attorneys. Check both the number of years an attorney has been practicing law in the state as well as the number of DUI cases they have handled over the last two or three years. The success rate of the attorney with those DUI cases should be considered because you want to work with the most successful lawyer. The rates they charge should also be compared before a decision is made.