If You’re Charged with a DUI, What Should You Expect?
If you've been charged with a DUI, you may be feeling scared and uncertain of what to expect. It's important to remember that each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on many factors. However, there are some general things you can expect if you're facing a DUI charge in Idaho. Here's an overview of the process and what you can expect at each stage.
Why You Need Legal Assistance to Fight a DUI Charge
If you're charged with a DUI, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. If you’re accused of driving under the influence in Idaho, it is crucial to understand how serious of an offense this is and to take immediate action. The first step should always be to contact a legal professional who is experienced in DUI cases. Your attorney will provide you with guidance, defend your rights and help you understand the legal process that lies ahead.
Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense in Idaho. You could be charged with driving under the influence if:
You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher while operating a vehicle
You have a BAC of 0.02 or higher while under the age of 21 and operating a vehicle
You are using drugs while operating a vehicle while under
In Idaho, a DUI charge has potentially life-altering consequences. A guilty charge can follow you for a long time, regardless of whether the penalty was reduced or completely dismissed. A serious criminal conviction on your record could also negatively impact your career options and professional aspirations. A DUI conviction could also negatively impact other areas of your life like international travel plans or personal relationships. Common penalties associated with a DUI conviction include fines and jail time, and other penalties. It's important to remember that anyone accused of a DUI should be aware of the potential repercussions before making any decisions about how to proceed with their case.
A DUI Conviction Can Change Your Life
There are many areas of your life that would be impacted by a DUI charge, including your job, your insurance rates, and your ability to drive. A DUI charge can have a far-reaching impact on your life. Potentially devastating consequences, such as being unable to function in the workplace or apply for a job, may arise as employers often conduct a background check including criminal records. Insurance rates are also likely to be affected by the conviction, most frequently with an increase instigated due to perceived risks associated with dui related offenses. Further still, your right to drive in Idaho may be suspended if convicted of driving under the influence which could severely hamper day-to-day activities. It is important to understand just how far-reaching the implications of a conviction may become and take all necessary steps towards mitigation so as to prevent further hardship resulting from such charges.
Penalties & Fines of a DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction is a serious crime with penalties, fines, and potential jail time if convicted, so it’s important to quickly assess your situation and take steps to protect your rights and future if you’ve been charged.
DUI penalties can vary based on your situation, typically:
A 1st offense carries a license suspension of 90-180 days, a $1,000 fine, and six months in jail
A 2nd offense carries a one-year license suspension, a $2,000 fine, and ten days to one year in jail
A 3rd offense carries a one to five-year license suspension, a $5,000 fine, and 30 days to five years in jail
Fighting the Charge: DUI Defenses
If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, remember that you still have civil rights and there are ways for an experienced attorney to help you fight the charges against you. Educate yourself on the laws surrounding DUI convictions and gather information on how your case could be handled in court. Knowing your legal rights can help you avoid jail, penalties, and fines.
Common DUI defenses include:
• Traffic Stop Challenge: An experienced attorney can help you defend yourself against a DUI charge due to an illegal or unjustified traffic stop.
• Confirmation Bias Claim: Confirmation bias is when law enforcement interprets new information in a way that conforms with their pre-existing beliefs about the case.
• Challenge to Intoxication Indicators: Idaho officers must have multiple indicators of intoxication to initiate a DUI investigation, but this isn't always the case.
• Sobriety & Breath Test Challenge: Field sobriety tests are difficult for even sober individuals and factors such as lighting, terrain, and weather may be overlooked by officers administering these tests. Breath test results are considered reliable enough for court proceedings, though they come with some margin of error.
Contact the DUI Attorneys at May, Rammell & Wells
Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter that can have a lasting impact on your life. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. In Idaho, DUI offenses have a ten-year lookback period, so a conviction could be on your record for several years. DUIs are considered progressive crimes, so while a first offense may have more lenient consequences, a second offense will come with more severe penalties. Call today at (208) 623-8021, so we can schedule a consultation to review the details of your case.