IF YOU HAVE TO DRIVE FOR A LIVING – You must go with a private attorney because the public defenders to not handle the DMV case.
YOU’VE HAD A PRIOR DUI(s)
If this is your 3rd misdemeanor offense in 10 years (out of state usually count), then be aware that you are exposed to significant jail time, 120 days is the legal minimum on a 3rd offense DUI and it’s usually more than that in our local courts. That’s not even counting any probation violations which can add additional time.
It’s not just a 3rd (or more) offense that can cause real jail time. Even a 2nd offense can lead to jail.
When it comes to a 4th offense (or more) in 10 Years or any multiple offenses (even a 2nd) in ten years where your prior offense was a felony, the prosecutor can charge the new one as a felony (and usually do – that means exposure to PRISON). GET AN EXPERIENCED DUI ATTORNEY. Our office regularly pulls prior offenses, both in state and out of state, to see if we can attack them in court and get the charges lowered (or the prior DUI thrown out).
YOU ARE ON PROBATION
HIGH ALCOHOL LEVEL (Blood, Breath, or Urine)
A good rule of thumb is to get an attorney if you are 2 times the legal limit or .08 or more:
It’s very important if this is a 1st offense DUI. This is because the government hasset the enhancement level down to .15 from .20. This can cause the jail sentence to be more and the 1st offense DUI class to go from 3 to 9 months (the longer the class the more it costs). The more embarrassing and expensive portion is the Ignition Interlock Device. There are judges which will require this on your car for 1-2-3 years at about $2,000-$3,000 – If you haven’t heard of this thing…it’s a machine you install in you vehicle or vehicles (if you have more than one) that you must blow into to start your car (it checks to see if you have any alcohol on your breath and randomly while driving to keep the car going). You can try and stop this from happening. There are very specific strategies that our office has used for years that may help avoid this enhancement on a 1st Offense.
If you have a commericial endorsement and you get a DUI:
- With a 1st offense, even in a regular non-commercial vehicle while not working, causes a 1 year loss of commercial driving privileges completely (no restricted commercial privilege) – you then have to re-apply for a brand new license, not just get it re-instated.
- With a second offense conviction you are looking at losing your commercial license FOREVER. If your commercial license is important to you, then be prepared to fight. This is even if it is a for an arrest in a non-commericial vehicle.
ACCIDENT CASE – Especially With Injury
If injury is involved, even if not a felony, you will lose your license completely for one year, not even a restricted license is allowed.
These are very serious cases and a good attorney can many times mean the difference between going to prison or avoiding it.
ALL OF THE ABOVE
With all of the above cases or even just a “standard DUI” it’s very important to know the players involved (the prosecutors and what they like and don’t like and the Judges to know their likes and dislikes) and the local policies. Locally alternative sentencing techniques change between counties and even between courtrooms in a county.
Please call now with questions before it’s too late to make a difference (831) 275-0990.