If you or a loved one has been pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence, you need to understand just how serious this charge can be. Being found guilty of a DUI can have very severe implications on both your personal and your professional life for many years to come. Understanding just how big of an impact this type of thing can have is very important when deciding how to best proceed.
The first thing people think of when they are arrested for a DUI is how much it is going to cost them. Even for a first time offense, the costs will be well into the thousands of dollars. If found guilty, the courts will require that you pay a fine of anywhere from $600-2100, depending on the details of your case for a first offense. For second offenses the fines can be $1100-5100. The fines continue to go up the more DUIs you have, but that is just the beginning.
In addition to having to pay the fines and penalties, you will also find that your insurance premiums go up by a very significant amount. For repeat offenses, you may not even be able to qualify for insurance at any price.
People who have to drive for a living will obviously have some very serious professional implications of a DUI. Most trucking companies, for example, won’t employ someone with a DUI on their record. Even pizza delivery jobs will likely be off the table. Jobs that don’t require you to drive, however, will also be impacted. Getting to and from work is much more difficult if your license is suspended, and employers often won’t be willing to adjust your hours around the bus schedule.
Something that many people don’t think about is how a DUI will impact their personal life. To start, you will have your license suspended for at least 90 days, which will make it very difficult to see friends, help family, and engage in other activities you enjoy. On top of that, however, is the social stigma. Being convicted of a DUI changes the way many people look at you for years to come. Many people report losing friendships, or even relationships, after a DUI conviction.
You Have Options
Despite what you may have been told by the arresting officer or prosecuting attorney, you NEVER have to plead guilty, and it is almost never in your best interests to do so. When you have an experienced DUI attorney working on your behalf, you will have a much better chance at being found not guilty of the charges. This can help protect you from all of the above consequences so you can get your life back on track. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, Contact John M. Totten, P.C. to discuss your options and get the representation you need.