Courts typically do not drop DUI charges after arrests occur. Instead, they settle the cases through trials or plea bargains. When a person faces a first DUI charge, the court will impose consequences, but the consequences become worse for people who experience repeat DUI convictions. If this is the first one you have faced, here are several things you should expect.
The Court May Offer a Plea
One of the most common ways courts settle criminal cases is through plea bargains, which is true for most first DUI charges. You should hire a DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest, and you should discuss the plea with your lawyer. Accepting the plea is usually advantageous for a person in this position, so make sure you think it through before deciding. A plea bargain may offer a reduction in your charge, and it will likely result in fewer consequences.
The Number of Court Hearings You May Have
A DUI case will not involve going to court just once. Instead, you may need to attend three or more court hearings for your case. If you have not yet selected a DUI lawyer, find one now. You should have your lawyer present with you at every court hearing, as he or she will give you advice to help you in your case. The final hearing of your case is the one where you will find out your consequences, but this might be months after your initial arrest.
The Consequences You Might Face
While a first DUI charge is probably not going to land you in jail for a long time, it is a serious crime that results in consequences. Some of the consequences may affect your driving abilities. You might lose your driver's license for a period, and you will likely have to pay higher insurance rates.
Most first DUI charges also result in probation. The court may place you on probation for six months to one year. The court might require that you attend alcohol classes to learn more about the dangers and risks of drinking and driving, and you might face financial penalties. You may also end up with other consequences, but your lawyer will help you face the fewest possible.
Driving under the influence puts you and others in danger. Therefore, if you drive under the influence, you might end up in jail facing a DUI charge. Contact a lawyer to learn more about preparing for your DUI case.