A DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious crime in most states throughout the US. If you get caught, you can expect the police to suspend your license and pay a fine. In some cases, you may also have to go to jail. Sentences are usually short for first offences, becoming longer after that.
For many people, driving is a necessity, especially in places such as California where public transport is decidedly lacking. The only way to get around in many cases is to drive a car. So when you get a DUI and have your license suspended, you want to know how long it will be before you can get back out on the road again.
You May Be Able To Avoid A Suspension Before Your Court Date
When a police officer determines that you’ve been drinking under the influence of alcohol, they will typically arrest you and take you back to the station for questioning. After questioning, they will then release you without bail. They will then apply to the court for a date for your hearing.
Usually, you are able to continue driving before your court date legally. So even if you receive a DUI, you can continue to use your vehicle until the driving license suspension. The courts must provide a hearing within 30 days of your DUI, so you may have several weeks of continued use of your vehicle before having to give it up. Speaking to a car accident lawyer in your specific state can clarify your rights and whether or not you can drive.
Suspensions Typically Last One Year
How long your suspension lasts depends on the state in which you live and whether you are a repeat offender. If you have had a DUI before within the last ten years, then the court will usually give you a one-year suspension. The same applies if you have any alcohol in your system and you are under the age of 21.
In some cases, your suspension period may be shorter than that. First-time offenders, for instance, may only have to give up driving for a few months. However, any suspension can seriously disrupt your life.
Here’s Everything Else You Need To Know About Getting A DUI
You Will Have To Appear In Court
Police officers themselves cannot convict you of crimes. Only the court system can. So if you have been drinking, the sheriff will have to submit evidence to the jury, just like any other plaintiff.
In court, prosecutors will present you with evidence against you. You are then free to plead guilty or not guilty.
If you plead guilty, the court will then take action against you under state law. If you plead not guilty, you will have an opportunity to make your case.
In many situations, you can evade DUI convictions with the help of lawyers. Law professionals examine the methods that police officers used to determine whether you were over the legal drinking limit. If they find that they did not follow the proper legal protocol, they can use this to invalidate the evidence against you.
In some cases, it is worth fighting a DUI charge, particularly if you believe that you were not over the legal limit. Avoiding conviction prevents you from having a permanent blot on your record.
You Will Pay A Fine
There are a bunch of fees associated with a DUI that vary from state to state. You’ll have to pay for these unfortunately. Some are charges for administration, while others are compensation for any damage or injury. You may also have to pay for police time handling your case.
You Might Need To Go To DUI School
DUI school is an option in some states. These schools teach you about the importance of driving alcohol-free.
Usually, you will need to pay to attend these schools. Many states offer them as an alternative to spending time in jail or paying fines to the courthouse. For these reasons, they tend to be popular.
You’ll Pay Higher Insurance
Once courts convict you of a DUI offense, you’ll have to pay higher insurance costs. Insurers will require extra money to cover the increased risk they believe you pose.
You will require a special insurance policy after the authorities reinstate your license called an SR-22. These are usually much more expensive – perhaps two or three times the price of a regular policy.
In summary, receiving a DUI can seriously disrupt your life. So to reduce the fallout, always consult with a lawyer before your day in court.