So, you just had your first DUI, or you’re about to have one – what then? What comes next after your first DUI conviction? Your driver’s license is in danger, for sure, because conviction often makes driver’s license suspension. Plus, when you refuse the breathalyzer implied consent blood test administered by the arresting officer at the time of arrest, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended in an administrative action under the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, according to a Department of Public Safety spokesperson. Refusing the oral breathalyzer test is considered a refusal, and, therefore, will result in loss of driving privileges. But what other consequences may follow a first DUI arrest?
As a first-time offender, you face jail time, as well as any additional jail penalties that apply to a first-time offender. As a repeat offender, the penalties increase again – up to a maximum of one year in jail, a suspended license, and possible additional fines first DWI. The state of Mississippi has seen an increase in the number of first-degree DWI convictions in the last five years, a reaction to widespread criticism of the lack of effective ignition interlock systems for automobiles in the state. The new measure, which takes effect this July, requires all car owners to have an approved ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle when they purchase it or within three months of purchase. Should a driver not to have one, their vehicle will be banned from being driven on Mississippi roads.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Aside from the criminal justice system, there are many financial implications of a first-time drunk driving offense. A person who drives while intoxicated can be subject to a wide range of additional licensing sanctions, from an enhanced driver’s license penalty to possible jail time. In addition, many employers now consider a DUI at work to be a disciplinary matter, and some may impose a zero tolerance policy for drunken driving. A DUI conviction also can damage a person’s personal reputation, as well as their ability to secure a job. In short, a DUI conviction can wreak havoc in a person’s life, causing not only great personal harm but financial harm as well.
A first-time offender might not know what to expect during the initial arrest for a DUI. A DUI attorney should be consulted at the first opportunity, and an evaluation of the legal process should be done. Although it is rare, DUI attorneys can reduce a first-time offender’s sentence or provide pro Bono services to help an offender get back on the right path in life. Because it is so easy to get a DUI, and such a serious crime, it is important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you fight back against the charges against you. It is important to note that hiring an attorney can be more expensive than going to trial; therefore, it is important to choose one that is affordable and competent.
The penalties that a driver faces for a DUI conviction vary, depending on the jurisdiction in which he or she was arrested. In certain jurisdictions, drivers can receive probation only after they complete a DUI program, while in other jurisdictions, drivers are imprisoned. In addition, the penalties for first-time offenders will often be more severe than those faced by repeat offenders, because the first time offender may have a heavier burden to carry than the next person charged with DUI. As a first-time offender, the judge may order the individual to perform community service, perform drug counseling, attend AA meetings or participate in a jail diversion program.
If a judge sentences an individual to a term of incarceration, additional fines may be levied against the individual. Some states allow for up to a fifteen-year sentence for second offenses, while others impose up to twenty years in jail. For first-time offenders, fines of up to three thousand dollars may be levied. If the individual completes the terms of their probation or is placed in jail, they will have to pay all of these fines as well.