There may be a lot of common misconceptions about a DUI charge circulating in your community. If it is your first time getting a DUI charge, there are serious short and long-term consequences. In the short term, they will arrest you, book you, and put you in jail. You may also need to bail out. However, it is the long-term consequences that will have the greatest effect on your life going forward.
Driving And Arrest Records
A DUI will be recorded permanently on your driving record and remain there. Anyone who accesses these records will know about the charge against you. It can influence various areas of your life but will mainly increase car insurance rates.
Once they arrest you, you will have a permanent arrest record. Arrest records can be seen by the public which means anyone can access them. Worst case scenario they can post it online. If a person searches your name online they can see that you have a bad record due to DWI. Can a DWI get dismissed? Yes, but your record will remain even if you are not found guilty.
Landlords, future employers, education institutions, insurance companies, and loan providers will all access these records as part of a background check. It could, therefore, affect your ability to get a job, rent a home, or be approved for finance for a car or property in the future.
First-time DUI offenders often receive a license suspension of up to 180 days which is six months. This license suspension will be implemented after the court has found you guilty of the DUI charge and the duration of the suspension will be decided depending on several factors such as your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) and whether reckless driving or other traffic violations took place as a result of driving under the influence.
The DMV will be made aware of the license suspension and will send you a formal notice with the details of the license suspension. However, it is possible to petition the court for special driving privileges while your license is suspended. For example, if you need to drive to work and back every day and cannot make an alternative arrangement, the court may allow you to drive only to and from work for the duration of the suspension. You can ask your DWI attorney Houston what you can do to lessen the days of suspension.
Fines And Jail Time
You can expect to be fined anywhere between $500 and $2,000. The amount of the fine is at the discretion of the court but factors like your BAC will be taken into account. Over and above this, you may receive a sentence for community service or jail time to be served. A maximum of 6 months of jail time is allowed for a first-time DUI offense. However, jail time is commonly only 6
for a few days for a first-time offender.
Ignition Interlock Device
There are steps you can take after a DUI Arrest. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own cost. The device will detect whether you have consumed alcohol or not. If it detects that alcohol has been consumed, the car will not start. The cost of installation is between $50 and $150. The monthly cost for monitoring the device will be between $60 and $80.
The court generally enforces education courses for first-time DUI offenders. These courses are designed to teach you about the effects of alcohol and why drinking and driving are dangerous. The course is compulsory and failure to attend will result in additional penalties. It is highly recommended to find legal representation from a lawyer or attorney specializing in DUI cases the moment you are pulled over or charged with a DUI.