Learning About Criminal Law Proceedings

What Are The Consequences Of A DUI And Should You Hire A Lawyer?

Drunk driving accidents occur much too often. In fact, 28 people in the U.S. die every day in car crashes that are caused by a drunk driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's why drunk driving accidents aren't taken lightly. If you are pulled over by a police officer and arrested for driving while drunk, you could face some serious consequences.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

If a police officer pulls you over and thinks you might be drunk, he or she can ask you to take a breathalyzer test. If your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, the officer will likely arrest you and hold you in jail until someone posts bail for you. If you are too inebriated, the police may require you to stay in the holding cell until the next day when you have sobered up. Also, your vehicle will likely be impounded.

What Are the Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

Many people don't think about how much a DUI conviction can change their lives. The truth is that a DUI conviction on your record can negatively affect your life many ways. Let's take a closer look at the major consequences of a DUI conviction:

  1. Driver's License Suspension: If you get found guilty of a DUI, the judge will likely suspend your driver's license for some time. This means that you won't be allowed to drive yourself to work, the grocery store, or other important places. As you can imagine, this can create a great deal of stress in your life. You will have to rely on other people to drive you around until you get your license back.
  2. Higher Car Insurance Rates: Drivers who have received DUI convictions are considered high risk to insurance companies. After a DUI conviction, your insurance company will likely significantly raise your insurance premiums. These expensive insurance rates can affect you for years and possibly hurt your budget.
  3. Fewer Employment Opportunities: With many employers performing background checks these days, a DUI conviction on your record could reduce your employment opportunities, especially for jobs that require driving. Employers may view individuals with DUI conviction as less trustworthy and would rather hire applicants with clean records.
  4. Damaged Relationships: A DUI conviction can also affect your personal and professional relationships. The people in your life may trust you less and judge you harshly for making a poor decision.
  5. Fewer Housing Opportunities: Just like employers, many landlords conduct background checks. They want to find out if a potential tenant has a criminal history before letting him or her rent an apartment. If you have a DUI conviction on your record, it may be a lot more difficult to find a place to live.

Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer?

If you are faced with a DUI charge, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced DUI lawyer. With a skilled lawyer on your side, you have a better chance of getting your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. For example, if this is your first offense, your lawyer may explain to the prosecutor that you have never been in trouble with the law before and deserve to have your charge reduced.

Working with a DUI lawyer can also take a great deal of stress off your back. When you know there is a skilled lawyer by your side, you can go to bed at night knowing that your lawyer is there for you and will help you in any way possible.

Many DUI lawyers offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one about your case.