How to pay for a first-time DUI offense

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges can be very expensive. That’s why it’s important to find out how to pay for a first-time DUI offense.

Anybody facing DUI charges knows that the process will be expensive, but many defendants aren’t prepared to face the actual cost of a conviction, even for first-time offenders. In fact, the total cost of a first-time DUI conviction can reach upwards of $15,000 to $20,000.

At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we’ll help you build your claim and explain how to pay for a first-time DUI offense. We’ll negotiate the best settlement for you. Contact us and schedule your free consultation by calling 210-225-0909!

What to expect at sentencing and how to pay for a first-time DUI offense

One thing you should be aware of is how these types of convictions are handled. A DUI is an offense made up of two separate parts: one part is administrative and the other is criminal.

What does this mean? Well, the administrative component of a DUI falls under the domain of the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This type of sentencing begins when a law enforcement officer asks a driver to give a breath, blood or urine test.

Although drivers can refuse chemical testing, this refusal results in automatic suspension of their driver’s license in most states.

Getting a DUI after what started out as a fun night can end badly and be costly for you. Not only will a conviction result in fines, court costs, legal fees and more, but you’ll also have to struggle with the consequences of your conviction for many years to come, including the difficulty of getting a job.

The more serious the consequences of your actions (such as an accident resulting in serious injury or even death), the more you’ll end up paying in financial costs. Not all of these charges will apply in every DUI case, but the more serious the incident, the more you’ll have to pay.

For a first-time DUI offense, you may be ordered to:

  • Pay a fine of up to $2,000
  • Spend 72 hours to 180 days in jail  
  • Get a license suspension for 90 days to one year

These penalties are compounded with each offense and any extenuating circumstances. For example, if you’re convicted of a DUI while having a child under the age of 15 in the car, you may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000, spend 6 months to 2 years in jail, and have your license suspended for 90 days to 2 years.

A first-time DUI with a child under the age of 15 is a serious offense. The more serious your charges are, the harder your attorney will have to work to fight them, which will also increase your legal fees.

Additional penalties for first-time DUI cases

Other consequences associated with a first-time DUI conviction may occur outside of direct legal punishments. These may include:

  • Higher insurance rates or difficulty getting new insurance.
  • Loss of employment or difficulty getting a new job.
  • Public disapproval or loss of respect among family and friends.
  • A DUI can’t be expunged from a criminal record at a later time.

 Possible legal defenses

It’s possible to reduce or mitigate some of these penalties with the help of an experienced DUI attorney who has the knowledge of what areas of the prosecution’s case to examine for inaccuracies, incomplete information or flaws.

For example, a DUI attorney can show that the arresting officer didn’t have probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle. If this is proven, the arrest is invalid. The attorney can also show that the arresting officer didn’t properly administer the sobriety test. This may cause the officer’s evidence of impairment to be inadmissible in court.

How to get help with your first-time DUI offense case?

Given all of the information above, it’s clear that being convicted of a DUI offense is not fun. There can be devastating consequences for your personal and professional life, plus it will affect your reputation in your community and can put you under serious financial pressure.

However, despite the serious consequences of being charged with a first-time offense, don’t assume that all hope is lost. Police officers must establish probable cause and provide evidence of an actual offense in order to make an arrest. They’re also required by law to follow proper procedures when administering sobriety tests.

That’s why we recommend that you hire an attorney from George Salinas Injury Lawyers, so we can help you fight to get your charges reduced at the very least, or even dismissed entirely.

DUI law has many nuances, so each case is unique. There’s no reason to think you can’t win simply because the evidence seems to be against you.

Can a DUI sentence be reduced?

The answer is “yes,” an enhanced DUI offense can be reduced. As described above, a first-time DUI charge can be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor or, in some circumstances, to a state jail felony. The state has the power to “waive” the enhancement and proceed with a Class B misdemeanor.

In certain circumstances, many prosecutor’s offices will allow defendants to plead guilty to a different offense, such as “Obstructing a Highway or Reckless Driving.” This allows a judge to grant the defendant’s request for a Deferred Adjudication and avoid a final conviction.

With the passage of House Bill 3582, first-time DUI offenders are now eligible to apply for Deferred Adjudication. This has largely ended the practice of allowing defendants to plead guilty to other charges, such as obstructing a highway or reckless driving.

How common are DUIs in the United States?

Getting a DUI can have negative consequences, such as higher car insurance premiums, fines, having to pay legal fees, license suspension and more. What’s more, driving under the influence (DUIs) can also result in death or serious bodily injury.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • 28 people in the United States die every day due to alcohol-related accidents. That represents approximately one death every 52 minutes.
  • One million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Fortunately, DUI arrests have declined significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. From March to May 2020, DUI arrests dropped by 42%.

Remember that drinking and driving is never worth it, especially when you consider the consequences and the risk to your safety and the safety of others. If you plan to consume alcoholic beverages, always consider using a ridesharing app or getting a ride from a friend.

Is it necessary to hire a DUI lawyer for a first-time offense?

DUI law varies by state and the facts of each case are always different. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, contact an experienced DUI attorney. A qualified attorney can tell you how the law applies to the circumstances of your case and help you understand what you’re facing.

At George Salinas Accident Lawyers, we’ll help you build your claim and explain how to pay for a first-time DUI offense. We’ll negotiate the best settlement for you. Contact us and schedule your free consultation by calling 210-225-0909! One of our attorneys will guide you in how to pay for a first-time DUI offense.

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