When we think of people behind bars, we tend to think of violent offenders who have done something horrible. However, what you might not realize is that if you are charged with a DUI, you could very well be convicted and sentenced to jail time. Lawmakers are cracking down and voting on harsher penalties for DUI offenders, and jail time is just one outcome you could face.
Drunk driving penalties will vary from state to state, and many have mandatory jail time in place for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI. State legislatures determine the minimum and maximum penalties for a DUI and jail time could be imposed. The length of time a drunk driver will spend in jail is determined by the following factors; age, prior offenses, blood alcohol content and whether the driver had an alcohol-related accident involving injuries or death. Another issue, which could land a driver in serious trouble and a hefty jail sentence, is transporting a child when driving drunk.
Because many states now require a mandatory jail sentence for a DUI, a judge will not have any say in the matter.
In addition to facing possible jail time due to a DUI conviction, a driver will face an increase in car insurance, employment problems and difficulty renting a vehicle in the future.
You know DUI/DWI laws will vary with different jurisdictions, but most do not require a mandatory jail sentence for a first time offender. However, almost all states will impose jail time on someone’s second or third conviction. In many states, a three-time DUI offender who is convicted will spend three or more months in prison, but each case is unique.
When a person is arrested for a DUI, it will require an appearance before a judge. An arraignment is the first court appearance and it involves a defendant being formally charged with a crime. At the time of the arraignment, a person will be asked to respond to the charges against them by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Before you go to court on a DUI charge and are possibly faced with a conviction and jail time, hiring an attorney could be the best recourse. If you are faced with a DUI, or if this is your second or third offense, you should give serious thought to hiring a lawyer, because the possibility of jail time is very real.