Imagine you’ve just started a new medication that says to wait eight hours before operating a vehicle. You go to bed that night right after taking it, sleep soundly for the first time in a while, and wake up feeling great! You look at the clock, see it’s been a little over eight hours, and start getting ready for the day.
By the time you head out the door, the last time you took your medicine was nine hours ago. You hop in the car and start your drive to work. Just a few minutes down the road however, you notice your reaction time isn’t what it should be, and it’s difficult to completely focus on the road. You think maybe you’re just not fully up yet; you woke up a little late today, and some coffee, once you’re at the office, will help.
A Little Misunderstanding
What you haven’t noticed, however, is the officer behind you watching you cross the centerline multiple times. The blue and red lights flip on, you pull over and get your license and registration ready, but what you don’t expect is when the officer asks if you’ve been drinking. You start to think it might be your medicine you took, even though it was past the recommended time, but the officer doesn’t seem to buy it. He suspects you’re driving under the influence, and from your behavior and driving, he takes you in on a DUI charge for further testing.
Is there anything you can do to fight the charge? Your first priority should be to contact a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana like Coulter Law. You’ll only have ten days from your arrest to have your lawyer attempt to save your license from being suspended and an accident and misunderstanding from staining your record and having huge consequences in many aspects of everyday life!
What Are the Consequences of a DUI?
So, what can the consequences be? What can you expect if you’re convicted of a DUI?
First off, the penalties change depending on the number of prior convictions you’ve had, but for this scenario, we’ll assume it’s a first-time offense.
You can expect to lose your license no matter how many times you’ve been in trouble in the past—the only thing that varies is for how long you lose it. For a first-time DUI, you’ll likely lose your license for 6 months, not to mention the fine which can be $500 – $5,000 depending on your blood alcohol content or BAC, and you can go to jail for up to 60 days. If your BAC is twice the legal limit, it can go all the way up to a year! As long as you are under .15, your DUI will be classified as a misdemeanor, but if you have any other offenses, you could face a felony.
Legal ramifications aren’t the only problems you’ll face, however, as there are long-term problems to deal with.
First off, your DUI will be on your widely available court records and on background checks. This can keep employers from hiring you from many professions and will definitely be a strike against you on the job market when comparing you to other candidates. Once, or if, you get your license back, you can expect your insurance rates to soar as well, on average by 80% but in some states, nearly as much as 400%!
Another possible penalty?
Yes, there are even more! An IID, or Ignition Interlock Device, could be installed in your vehicle in which you must blow into a breathalyzer before your engine can start.
So far these have been mostly tangible factors that will suffer, but another thing that people forget they can face is suffering a serious decline in personal relationships. Friends, family, significant others, and coworkers all might view and/or treat you differently if you’re convicted of a DUI. This can be one of the hardest consequences of a serious mistake.
Are There Any Defenses For a DUI?
There are a few defenses for a DUI charge, however as blood or breath tests are tangible, scientific evidence, they can be hard to argue against. In the case of our commuter on the way to work when their medicine is altering their state, they do have a defense. A mistake of fact, that the medicine was well past its time limit but was still affecting their driving unknowingly to them, can be a valid excuse.
Others can argue the accuracy or validity of the tests that were administered to them, or even involuntary intoxication, while rare, where they might have encountered something spiked with alcohol unknown to everyone else.
Improper stops also are defenses taken by those charged with DUI’s or even that your BAC was not illegal at the time of the initial stop but rose while in custody before the final test.
Each person’s personal legal situation should be discussed with a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana though, as there are many details best ironed out with a professional. No matter what you plan on doing, an attorney can help lessen the penalties incurred.
How Can I Get Legal Help for a DUI?
If you’re looking for legal help for a DUI or other charges, look no further than Coulter Law. A criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, Bryan Coulter has years of experience in criminal law and can help you navigate your case.
It’s important to contact an attorney quickly, as you only have 10 days to have someone intervene with your DUI proceeding on your behalf! To get expert legal help, contact Coulter Law online or call them at (765) 423-2888.