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First DUI Offense? Here Is What You Need To Know

It all began with a casual drink on a night out with friends. One drink led to another, and before you knew it, a few more followed. You need to get home, and trusting your driving abilities, you get behind the wheel.

Unaware of the mistakes you’re making on the road due to your inebriated state, you catch the attention of law enforcement. Soon enough, the flashing blue lights appear on your rearview mirror and you pull over to the side of the road.

The police officer subjects you to a breathalyzer test, and the results show your blood alcohol level is above the legal threshold. As a first-time offender, you may wonder what this means. Read on to find out.

What a DUI Means for a First-Time Offender

You are considered a first-time offender if you have never been charged with a DUI offense. The consequences for first-time DUI offenders are mostly mild, increasing with the number of DUI offenses.

It means that the second DUI charge will have more severe consequences than the first, and so on. But depending on the specific situation, the first offense can have severe consequences, especially if it has aggravating factors such as driving under the influence with children in the car.

Punishments for First-Time DUI Offenders

Below are some of the possible punishments for first-time DUI offenders:

  • Payment of a fine: These can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the level of intoxication and aggravating factors.
  • Probation:This is a common punishment for first-time DUI offenders. Jail time is possible when the BAC level exceeds certain levels.
  • License suspension:Your license can be suspended for a few months for a first-time DUI offense
  • Jail time:Although rare, jail time is possible for first-time DUI offenses. It can range from a few days to as much as six months.
  • Drug and alcohol counseling or treatment:Counseling is often required as part of another sentence for a DUI offense .
  • Community service:Most first-time DUI offenders must do community service as part of their sentence.
  • Ignition interlock device:A first-time DUI offender may be required to use an ignition interlock device in exchange for the return of their license.

“A DUI offense goes into your criminal record and if you are convicted for a subsequent DUI offense, this too goes on your record. The repercussions can be dire as employers can view your criminal record, making it difficult to find employment,” says criminal defense attorney Kush Arora.

The Need for an Attorney

A DUI offense can be a thorn in your neck, affecting every aspect of your life as it goes into your criminal record. If you are convicted of a first-time DUI offense, legal aid is not a choice; it is a necessity.

A good DUI lawyer will evaluate your case and the evidence the police collected during the arrest. They will try to find procedural issues with the arrest in a bid to get the case thrown out or the charge reduced.

They may check whether proper arrest protocol was followed or if the breathalyzer test was accurate. On top of that, they understand DUI laws and can apply them to your specific situations. With their understanding of the local court systems, they can advocate for the best outcome of your case.

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