Things to Know About DUI Charges in Idaho
No matter what, if you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you should take your charges seriously. At May, Rammell & Wells, too often, we see the damaging effects a DUI arrest can have on someone’s life. Even if it is a first offense or you believe that your innocence is self-evident, there is a likelihood that your life and future will be affected negatively by DUI charges and/or a conviction.
Ways a DUI may impact your future:
- Damaged reputation
- Difficulty with college admissions
- Difficulty getting accepted into certain professional organizations
- Trouble with certain professional certifications and programs
- Trouble finding work in certain professions and industries
We know that being arrested on suspicion of a DUI is scary. Below we review some commonly asked questions about DUI charges and convictions in Idaho and their impact on your life. Keep reading to learn more.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested?
This is the number one question we are asked about DUI charges. In the moment, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do. You are likely stressed out and scared. However, there are some things that are incredibly important for you to do following a DUI arrest. The first of which is remaining silent when pulled over and arrested. Anything you say can and likely will be used against you by the arresting officer and the prosecutor. Even professing your innocence can be manipulated to be used against you. Instead, follow instructions and don’t be combative, but also don’t say anything. Especially avoid admitting guilt.
The second most important thing you should do after being arrested for a DUI is to hire legal representation. An attorney can help you throughout the process and help you build a strategic defense against your DUI charges. Working with an experienced lawyer can be invaluable and help you increase the odds of successfully resolving your case.
What Are the Penalties Associated with a DUI in Idaho
As with many states, in Idaho, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction will depend on whether it is your first offense, whether you have a commercial driver’s license and are driving for work, and whether you are under 21 years of age. For drivers 21 years old or older, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%. Meanwhile, for underage drivers, the limit is 0.02%. For those holding a commercial driver’s license, the limit is 0.04%.
Common DUI penalties based on what offense is being charged include:
- 1st offense: 90-180 days license suspension, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to six months in jail
- 2nd offense: one-year license suspension, up to $2,000 in fines, and ten days to one year in jail
- 3rd offense: one to five-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines, and 30 days to five years in jail
Penalties may be enhanced if the circumstances of the conviction are severe or aggravated. For example, a BAC of 0.20% or more will have more significant penalties, such as a license suspension of one year, up to $2,000 in fines, and ten days to one year in prison. Similarly, if someone is seriously injured or killed, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI and face up to 15 years in prison.
Why Is It Important to Fight DUI Charges?
Many of the long-term problems associated with a DUI come from the fact that you gain a criminal record with a DUI conviction and may spend significant time in prison. Both of these things can seriously derail your personal and professional life.
You will have to disclose your criminal history in many situations, such as when applying to college, applying for housing, and applying for jobs and membership in professional organizations. While not all schools, landlords, and jobs will reject you for having a criminal record or a DUI, some will, and it may be used to weed out applicants. You will also likely be dealing with a license suspension or losing your driving privileges, making your life even more difficult.
With these things in mind, it is crucial that you fight your DUI charges. At May, Rammell & Wells, we can help. If you were arrested on suspicion of a DUI or have been charged, call our law firm.