Helpful Ideas On Dealing With Your Houston DUI Charge
What To Expect After Being Pulled Over For A DUI
If you have been charged with and/or convicted of a DUI, you can probably expect the following to happen:
- The officer who pulled you over will place you under arrest. The officer should read you your rights and then take you to the police station where you will be booked and detained in a jail cell until you make bail. In general, the stay in jail is to allow you to sober up in order to post bail. In some cases and in some jurisdictions, you will need to have a bail hearing before a judge who will decide whether bail will be granted and the amount. In other jurisdictions, standard bail is set for DUI’s allowing the police station to accept bail and release you.
- You will have to appear in court at a hearing where you will need to plead guilty or not guilty. Your lawyer will advise you as to which will be most beneficial to suit the unique circumstances of your case.
- Expect to have your driver’s license suspended in some way and for some period of time. Most states suspend driver’s licenses after DUI convictions.
- It is going to cost you. You will need to pay a fine, court fees, towing and storage fees, counseling and therapy fees as well as lawyers fees. Even if it is a routine arrest, it is going to be a costly matter. If your DUI resulted in an accident that caused damage to property, injuries, or other damages, you are going to pay even more.
- You are going to receive a jail sentence. A first DUI arrest should only result in a few hours in jail. Second and multiple offenses can result in a jail sentence, house arrest, community service, etc. Depending on a number of factors, an offender can spend anywhere from a couple of months to years in jail. Different states have varying lengths of sentencing for DUI offenses.
- You will probably be put on probation. Probation will require regular visits with a probation officer to check up on you and ensure that you are abiding by the law and your sentence as well as that you are not using drugs or alcohol. Being caught drinking, drinking and driving, or committing another offense while on probation can have severe consequences.
- You may be required to attend an educational program and/or counseling related to substance abuse. Your lawyer will recommend enrolling in a substance abuse program, getting therapy, or providing proof that you are attending 12-Step meetings.
- Your DUI conviction is going to affect your auto insurance and you are probably looking at increased rates and perhaps greater deductibles and restrictions applying to your claims.
- If you were arrested, you are going to have a permanent arrest record. If you were convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record. Your current record should not reflect the arrest or conviction after a few years. However, it will never be deleted from your permanent record. These records are accessible to the public and employers, insurance providers, landlords, educational institutions, etc. access these records to run a background check on you and your arrest or conviction can have negative life-long consequences.
To avoid these penalties, don’t drink and drive. Also, contact a lawyer immediately if you have been arrested or charged with a DUI.
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