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A DUI is no joke. You could face up to a $10,000 fine, countless court fees, and even jail time. Law enforcement throughout Florida made 45,261 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) in 2019 alone. Of those, 10,703 were arrested for drivers under 21 years old.
After being held accountable for your actions, the last thing you want is to face more charges. An attorney can help you fight any add-on DUI charge.
Read on for several reasons to hire a DUI lawyer.
1. A DUI Conviction Can Lead to Jail Time
A first DUI offense is usually a misdemeanor, but it can level up to a felony. If there were aggravating factors, such as a high BAC, an accident, or injury. A second or third DUI offense is always a felony.
The penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the state you are in. But they usually include jail time, a loss of your driver’s license, and a fine.
In some states, a DUI conviction can lead to mandatory jail time, even for a first offense. For example, in Arizona, a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor and can lead to up to 10 days in jail.
A second DUI offense is a felony and can lead to up to 4 months in jail. In California, a first DUI offense is also a misdemeanor and can lead to up to 6 months in jail. A second DUI offense is a felony and can lead to up to 1 year in jail.
2. Result in a Loss of Your Driver’s License
Most states will also suspend or revoke your driver’s license if you’re convicted of DUI. The length of the suspension or revocation will depend on the state you are in and the severity of your offense.
For example, in Arizona, a first DUI offense will result in a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license. A second DUI offense will result in a 1-year revocation of your driver’s license.
In California, a first DUI offense will result in a 4-month suspension of your driver’s license. A second DUI offense will result in a 1-year revocation of your driver’s license.
3. Can Increase Your Insurance Rates
Insurance companies also take into account whether this is your first DUI offense or if you have been convicted of DUI before. A first-time offender will typically see a 20 to 40 percent increase in their rates.
But if you’re convicted before of DUI multiple times, your rates could increase by as much as 400 percent. Your driving history is also a factor.
If you have a clean driving record, your rates will likely go up less than someone with a history of accidents or traffic violations. All of these factors will play a role in how much your insurance rates increase after a DUI conviction.
Although a DUI is not considered a moving violation, it is still seen as a high-risk activity by insurers. This means that you will be paying more for your insurance coverage.
In some cases, your insurance company may even decide to cancel your policy.
4. Can Lead to Employment Problems
If you’re employed, a DUI arrest can lead to an immediate suspension of your job, and in some cases, worst case termination.
Even if you keep your job, a DUI conviction can create problems at work. Making it hard to get promoted or to keep your job if your position requires you to drive.
A DUI can also result in the loss of your professional license, which can make it impossible to work in your chosen field. For example, nurses, truck drivers, and lawyers can all lose their licenses as a result of a DUI.
And, if you’re applying for a job, many employers now run background checks that include a review of your criminal record, so a DUI can make it hard to get hired.
5. Can Negatively Impact Your Life in Other Ways
A DUI charge on your record can negatively impact your life in other ways. You may have trouble renting an apartment, getting a job, or getting insurance. You may also be required to attend DUI classes and serve community service.
Can also lead to a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
6. Is a Serious Matter
This is a serious matter and it is important to take it seriously. You need to understand the potential consequences of a DUI charge and the potential for jail time, heavy fines, and the loss of your driver’s license.
You need to contact a DUI attorney who can help you understand the charges and the potential consequences. It is not a traffic ticket. It’s an offense in criminal law and you will have a criminal record.
7. You Have a Right to an Attorney
You have a right to an attorney, and it’s important to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and your rights.
If you’re convicted of a DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Hire a Lawyer Now to Help You With Your DUI Charge
After a DUI charge, it is important to hire a lawyer to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, understand the charges against you, and develop a defense strategy.
If you are facing a DUI charge, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer for legal help.
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