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Top 10 Tips, Answers Regarding DUI Penalties

DUI Drink Gavel Keys
By Christopher Coble, Esq. on October 17, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While drunk driving arrests are all too common, each DUI case is unique, meaning the possible penalties you could face when charged with drunk driving will vary depending on the specifics of your case. There are, however, some general rules that prosecutors and courts follow when charging, plea bargaining, and punishing DUI offenses.

Here's a look at some of the most common questions regarding DUI penalties, and the most common punishments for DUI convictions.

1. 7 Most Common DUI Penalties

You may be lucky enough to have your case sent to a diversion program, with only some classes to attend and a few fines to pay. Then again, you might be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car, have your license revoked, or face jail time.

2. First Time DUI? Top 5 Laws You Need to Know

Obviously, the penalties for a first-time DUI will generally be lesser, as long as there wasn't a serious accident. Still, some states are requiring interlock devices after a first DUI offense.

3. 2nd DUI: What Happens Now?

If you were fortunate enough to get diversion for your first drunk driving case, or even get your record expunged, you probably won't be so lucky the second time around. Some states even consider a second DUI as a felony, rather than a misdemeanor.

4. 3rd DUI Offense: Will I Go to Jail?

Generally speaking, if you're looking at a third DUI conviction, it's not so much whether you'll be serving jail time, but how much jail time you'll be serving.

5. DUI Habitual Offenders: What Are the Consequences?

Once you're labeled as a habitual offender under state DUI laws, the penalties for a conviction (or even an arrest) can ratchet up quickly. You could be looking at license revocation, automatic felony charges, and mandatory minimum jail sentences.

6. 3 Ways a Misdemeanor DUI Can Become a Felony

Repeat offenses are just one way a misdemeanor DUI can get kicked up to a felony. If you have existing issues with your license or cause property damage or personal injury, expect the charge to get serious.

7. DUI Penalties: Everything You Need to Know About Ignition Interlock Devices

Once reserved for habitual offenders, interlock devices that require you to submit a breath test in order to start your car or keep it running are becoming more and more coming for first-time offenders.

8. 7 Common DUI Probation Conditions

One of the most common penalties for a DUI is probation; here are the most common probation conditions following DUI charges.

One of the quickest ways to ramp up DUI penalties is to get caught driving drunk with a child in the car. You could be facing aggravated or felony DUI charges, along with child abuse or endangerment charges as well.

10. Long-Term Consequences of a Drunk Driving Charge

State legislators, county prosecutors, and city police take drunk driving seriously, which means serious consequences for DUI convictions, both in the short-term in and in the future.

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