Drunk driving is illegal, and the law has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. When you get into the car after consuming an alcoholic beverage, you make the decision to not only break the law but also place the lives of everyone else on the road in danger. It’s a powerful decision that can change your entire life. If you are caught, you go to jail and face fines, prison sentences, and you lose your license and driving abilities. The penalties are always serious when you are caught drinking and driving, but they only become more serious when you’re arrested more than once for the same crime.
If you hit someone and cause an accident while you are impaired, you need an attorney. You could kill someone, injure them seriously, and you face a long time in jail no matter how many times you have or have not been convicted of drinking and driving in the past. Call an attorney. Your life is about to change, and it is not changing for the best.
Penalties for DUI Convictions
It’s impossible to tell you what kind of penalties you might face without knowing where you live as well as the details pertaining to your accident. If you are a first-time offender and no one was injured in the accident, there’s a good chance a court of law might sentence you to the lightest possible sentence. If you are not a first-time DUI offender, you’re facing more serious charges. If you hit someone or damage someone else’s property or body, you face more serious charges. If there is a child in the car with you, you’re going to face the maximum sentence.
The details matter in a case like this one, but you should know you have rights. You’re facing automatic license suspension, prison time, penalties, and even mandatory alcohol abuse programs. You might be able to reduce your sentence to community service rather than jail time, and you can ask the court to allow you to utilize your driver’s license for special reasons such as taking your children to and from their doctors and getting to and from work.
If you’re arrested and convicted of a DUI in an accident because you hit someone else, you could face a lawsuit in addition to the sentence the court demands. The other party can sue you for negligence and damages associated with fixing their car, paying their medical bills, replacing their lost wages if their injuries prevent them from going back to work in their full capacity or at all. If their injuries are catastrophic, you could become responsible for paying the rest of their medical bills for the rest of your life.
Call An Attorney
If you’re involved in a drunk driving accident, call an attorney right away. There is no time to sit back and wonder if you are making the right decision. As soon as you are placed under arrest, an officer is required by law to read you the Miranda Rights to which you are entitled. These rights include the right to an attorney. Use that right. If you are not read your rights, refuse to speak until you call an attorney an be sure you tell your attorney if you were not given your rights. Your case can be dismissed and all charges are dropped if an arresting officer does not read you the rights to which you are entitled.
You might not be able to walk away free and clear if you were drinking and driving and caused an accident, but your attorney can fight for a lighter sentence and more leniency on your behalf. It’s imperative you issue your right to an attorney right away, speak nothing until you have your attorney present, and let your attorney help. He or she is the person who will stand up for you in court and fight, and this is your best chance at freedom.