According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30 people die every day in the United States in drunk-driving crashes. Even though the number of deaths has gone down in the last decade, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
There are several charges that one can face when they are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of any intoxicating substance. The DUI charges you face will depend on the circumstances and facts of your case.
Here are some of the possible charges.
First Offense DUI
As the name suggests, anyone who faces their first drunk driving arrest faces a charge called the first DUI. This arrest is mostly charged as a misdemeanor, but it can also be a felony DUI depending on the circumstances.
Penalties for this offense can include driver license suspension, a fine of $1,000 or more, jail time of up to 6 months, and maybe having an interlock ignition device placed in your vehicle. However, the penalties will also depend on the substance used and the state.
In Texas, for example, if arrested driving under the influence of marijuana, you can face up to 180 days in jail, and a fine of $2000 for a first offense and this can go up to $4000 and two-year jail time for your other weed DUI conviction.
If charged with the same offense within the first ten years of your first DUI charge, you will face a second DUI. The period is calculated from the date of the arrest to the date of the second.
This may still be a misdemeanor, but the penalties can include mandatory jail time that can be as much as one year. You may also have to attend a level two DUI school, fines, and an interlock ignition device placed in your vehicle.
You can face a third DUI if arrested while drunk-driving within one year of your first arrest. Though this can also remain a misdemeanor offense; you might face harsher penalties than the earlier two charges.
For a DUI charge to be a felony, the following is considered:
- A fourth DUI arrest within the first ten years of the first arrest
- If the accident caused a severe injury or death
- A consequent DUI after having a prior felony DUI
Get to know your state’s DUI laws and also blood alcohol level that can qualify the arrest as a felony. A felony DUI penalty can include over ten year’s jail time, especially if the accident causes bodily injury.
The other types of DUI charge that you can face include:
- Commercial DUI for drivers holding Class A and B commercial driver licenses
- Underage DUI for drivers under the age of 21
- Wet reckless driving
The penalties you face will depend on your BAC level and the circumstances of the accident.
Always Hire an Attorney When Facing DUI Charges
If you are facing any DUI charges, it may be a good idea to hire an experienced attorney in your area to help you handle the case. Your attorney will know how best to approach the case and will also help you understand the possible penalties.
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