Facing A DUI Charge? What You Should Know About Potential Punishments

Posted on: 10 June 2015


When you are facing a DUI conviction, you have to make the decision of whether or not to plead guilty and accept the sentence handed down by the judge. Depending on the state in which you live, that sentence could include jail time. If you are weighing your options, here is some information you should factor into your decision.

What Happens Once You Plead Guilty?

When you enter your guilty plea in court, you more than likely cannot withdraw it if you change your mind. It is very important that you understand the ramifications of your plea before you enter it. Ideally, you will enter your plea after you talk to an experienced DUI attorney, like those at Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices. If you have not had the benefit of professional legal counseling, you might have missed out on the opportunity to explore other options for dealing with your charge. 

What Are the Possible Consequences?

The punishments for DUI tend to vary by state, but most of the states offer probation and fines for a first-time conviction. The amount of time you could receive is impacted by whether or not someone else was injured, and by your blood alcohol level. You are more likely to get a harsher sentence if your blood alcohol level was significantly above the state's legal limit. Another likely punishment includes the possibility of losing your driver's license for a period of time. 

If you have any prior DUI convictions, the punishments you are facing are going to be significantly harsher. For instance, in Indiana, you could lose your license for 30 days, if convicted. However, if you have three convictions for DUI, you could lose your license for a 10-year period. 

Do You Have Other Options?

Besides pleading guilty, you have the option of trying to negotiate with the prosecutor. The prosecutor is more likely to offer a plea bargain to you through your attorney than if you approach him or her yourself. If this is your first DUI conviction and no one was injured, there is a possibility that the prosecutor will allow a plea from you to a lesser offense. This could save your license and even help you avoid heavy fines and jail.

The best thing for you to do when facing DUI charges is to talk to an attorney. Even if you do not hire an attorney, you can learn from the attorney what you are facing. This can help you shape your decisions regarding your legal future.