THE CRIMINAL CASE
There are two components to a DUI charge, the criminal charge and the DMV hearing. Driving under the influence is considered a criminal charge, and therefore you will face criminal proceedings and consequences. You will be required to appear in court in order to defend yourself against theses charges. Our experienced team of attorneys can help you prepare your defense and ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process. If you are convicted of DUI, you face the following criminal charges:
A first offense DUI conviction will result in a fine of $500-1,000 and up to six months in prison. For first time offenders, this sentence may be reduced to just 48 consecutive hours, or you can have your entire sentence suspended and face probation instead. If you are placed on probation, you will also have to complete 100 hours of community service.
A second offense DUI conviction will result in a fine of $1,000-4,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to two years. A minimum of 120 days of this jail sentence must be served. Additionally, you will be placed on probation and you must complete 100 hours of community service.
A third or subsequent DUI conviction will result in a fine of $2,000-8,000 and a prison sentence of up to 3 years. One year of this sentence is mandatory, and cannot be reduced in any way. Again, you will also be sentenced to a period of probation and be required to perform 100 hours of community service.
The DMV Hearing
As previously mentioned, a DUI has two components. The first is the criminal case. The second is the DMV hearing, which deals exclusively with your driver’s license. Because driving is a privilege and not a right, the DMV can suspend your driver’s license. Even though they both deal with the same offense, the criminal and DMV hearings are completely independent of one another. This means that even if you are found not guilty of a DUI in your criminal case, the DMV may still suspend your license. Many attorneys view the DMV hearing as a lost cause, and will not attend. At The Kaloidis Law Firm, LLC we not only attend the DMV hearing, but will fight to defend your license. We never give up on our clients, and we have won DMV hearings!
Your license will be suspended for one year if the DMV believes that you are guilty of a first offense DUI.
A license suspension for a second offense DUI is a three-year license suspension. The first year of the suspension, you may not drive at all, unless you have a work or education permit. The last two years of the suspension, you are allowed to drive, but only with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle(s). You must pay for this device and it’s maintenance yourself.
A third or subsequent DUI offense will result in the revocation of your driver’s license. However, you may petition for your license to be reinstated after a certain period of time has passed. Your license may be reinstated if you have not been convicted of assault or murder with a motor vehicle, and if you use an ignition interlock device on all of your vehicles.
The Ignition Interlock Program
An ignition interlock device might be placed in your vehicles as a requirement of your DMV sentence. This device is connected to your vehicles ignition, and measures the driver’s breath alcohol content. In order to start your vehicle, you must blow into the device. The device then analyzes the breath sample to determine your breath alcohol concentration. If your alcohol concentration is above a certain limit, you will be unable to start your vehicle. The data collected by the ignition interlock device is recorded and provided to the police, so they will be aware of if and when you fail a breath test. Additionally, the ignition interlock device gives rolling tests to ensure that the driver is the one providing the breath sample. While you are behind the wheel, you might be required to give a breath sample. If you fail, your vehicle will shut down.
The Pretrial Education Program
If this is your first DUI offense, you are eligible for the alcohol education program. This is a diversionary program in which you will take alcohol education classes for 10-15 weeks. If you are approved to take this program, and you complete it, the DUI conviction will be removed from your criminal record. This program costs $200, and an additional $350 if you attend the 10-week program, and $500 if you attend the 15-week program.
You do not have to face a DUI charge by yourself. Contact an experienced attorney at The Kaloidis Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation. Let our team of experienced attorneys provide an aggressive, quality DUI defense.