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What Happens With Your First DUI

A DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious offense in most states and can have devastating consequences. If you’re arrested for a DUI, you may be feeling scared and confused about what’s going to happen next. 

This article will explain what happens when you receive your first DUI, including legal ramifications and potential jail time. We’ll also discuss ways to get sober and never have this worry again.

The DUI Arrest

The arrest is the beginning of the DUI process. After you are pulled over, the police officer will ask you to step out of your car and perform a field sobriety test or to perform a breathalyzer. If you refuse these tests, the consequences can be equal or worse to a DUI. If the officer believes you are intoxicated, you will be placed under arrest and taken to the police station. There, you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test if you haven’t received one already. 

The DUI Court Process

After you are charged with a DUI, you will have to appear in court. The first appearance is called an arraignment. At your arraignment, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you how you plead. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, the judge will sentence you immediately. If you plead not guilty, the judge will set a date for your trial.

At your trial, both the prosecution and the defense will present their cases. You will have the opportunity to testify on your own behalf, call witnesses to testify on your behalf, and cross-examine witnesses who testify against you. 

After both sides have presented their cases, the jury (if there is one, but this is unlikely) will deliberate and reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If the jury or judge finds you not guilty, you are free to go and no further action will be taken against you. If the jury or judge finds you guilty, the judge will sentence you according to the law.

Most likely, in a DUI case, the facts are clear and most people plead guilty or no contest in exchange for a slightly reduced sentence. 

The sentencing for a first-time DUI can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the facts of the case, but often includes a fine and probationary period during which time you will be required to complete a drug and alcohol education program or treatment program.

Penalties For A First DUI Offense

man interrogated by a police officer -

The penalties for a first DUI offense will depend on the state in which you are charged. However, there are some general penalties that are typically associated with a first DUI offense. These can include fines, jail time, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes.

In some states, a first DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor, while in others it is considered a felony. Misdemeanor charges usually result in smaller fines and shorter jail sentences than felony charges.

The specific penalties that you will face if convicted of a first DUI offense will vary depending on the facts of your case and the state in which you are charged. However, you can expect to face some combination of the following penalties:

Fines: The amount of the fine will vary depending on the state in which you are charged and the facts of your case. In general, however, first-time offenders can expect to pay several thousand dollars in fines.

Jail time: First-time offenders may also be sentenced to spend time in jail. The length of the sentence will again depend on the state in which you are charged and the facts of your case. In some states, first-time offenders may only be sentenced to spend a few days in jail, while in others they may be sentenced to spend several months or even years behind bars.

License suspension: Many states will suspend the driver’s license of anyone convicted of a DUI offense.

Drug And Alcohol Education Program: In many places, the courts will require a mandatory drunk driving or drug and alcohol education class. 

Alternatives To Jail Time

In some cases, first-time offenders may be eligible for alternative punishments to jail time. These can include things like probation, community service, education programs, and/or treatment programs. Eligibility for these alternatives usually depends on factors like the severity of the offense, the offender’s criminal history (if any), and the jurisdiction in which the offense took place.

Some states have “diversion” programs in place specifically for first-time DUI offenders. Diversion typically involves completing a set of requirements (such as attending classes, paying fines, etc.) and then having the charges against you dropped. If you successfully complete diversion, you will not have a DUI on your record.

Of course, every case is different and it is ultimately up to the judge to decide what punishment is appropriate. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your options and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

How A DUI Affects Your Driving Record

A DUI conviction will go on your driving record and will be visible to anyone who runs a background check on you or your driving history. This means that car insurance companies, employers, and other entities will be able to see that you have been convicted of a DUI.

A DUI conviction can result in higher car insurance rates, as well as potential problems with employment. Some employers may not hire you if they see that you have a DUI on your record.

Get Help For Alcohol And Drug Addiction

A DUI conviction can have serious consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. It is important to take a DUI arrest seriously. If you have received one, it may be time to start taking your drinking seriously As well. We can help. A treatment center like ours is, we believe, the best way to get— and stay— sober.  

If you’d like to talk about your or a loved one’s problem drinking, call us at (615) 326-6449 and we can help you get your life back together. 

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