Driving Under the Influence
With the upcoming holiday and summer season upon us, there is always an influx of drinking related traffic offenses that will be issued. There are several matters that come up when evaluating a driving under the influence charge against a defendant. It is so important that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss these different problems and make certain that all your rights are protected under the law.
For example, if this is your first driving under the influence charge it is possible that you didn’t know that it is against the law to refuse the preliminary breath test and can ultimately result in a secondary charge for refusing that test. There are very limited circumstances where someone can challenge the refusal of the PBT, and there is a specific window of time in which this challenge can be made. It is essential that the moment you are charged with a DUI and have refused the PBT you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are able to ensure that you do not miss this window of opportunity if it applies in your case. As stated, this type of challenge is very rarely successful except in extremely specific circumstances. Please contact us immediately if this applies to you so that our law firm can assess whether a challenge to your PBT refusal is warranted.
Another very common question when it comes to being charged with a DUI, is if the defendant is going to lose their license. The answer quite simply is if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, then yes, you will lose your license. In some form or fashion. The follow-up question then is, “well, for how long?” This answer is a little less simple. The answer depends solely upon your criminal history regarding drinking related driving offenses. If this is your first DUI then you are possibly going to lose your license for 30 days. After the suspension is lifted you continue to face the possibility of having restrictions placed on your license and driving privileges. If you are charged with a second offense DUI you not only are facing up to one year in jail, but you are going to face a one-year suspension on your license, and it will be at least 60 days before you are eligible to be considered for restricted privileges. A third DUI offense will be treated as a five-year felony, and you will lose your license for at least five years!
Drinking related driving offenses are costly. This does not only include the expense for hiring a criminal defense attorney, but also most of these charges can carry $500.00 to $5,000.00 in fines, plus costs, possible probation fees, programming fees, Secretary of State sanctions, and more! Aside from the costs, a defendant in a DUI case may face the loss of his liberty from 93 days to five years in prison depending on your case. Between four and six points may be added to your driving record. There are instances where your vehicle may be immobilized. It is even possible that you may have to undergo substance abuse treatment.
So, what can be done? The first step is to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn what your options are and how you can protect your rights. Once you have consulted and retained your criminal defense attorney, a full assessment of your DUI charge must be examined. You and your attorney must devise a case strategy based on all of the information that is available. From there, taking careful consideration of your expert criminal attorney’s opinion and legal advice is vital to ensuring your liberty and your driving interests are preserved.
Please always drive safe, call a ride, and never drink and drive. However, if you find yourself facing criminal charges for a drinking related driving offense, and you need representation, please contact us right away to utilize your free consultation. See what our criminal defense attorney may be able to do to assist you in defending your DUI case.