The holidays are a busy time for law enforcement agencies that are looking to curtail drunk driving. As a result, there are a number of Mississippi and Alabama residents who will be entering the new year facing criminal charges that threaten nearly every aspect of their lives. While a lot of these accused individuals will be able to negotiate a plea deal that allows them to escape some of the harshest penalties under the law, the only way to know for sure whether a plea offer is in your best interests is to understand the potential penalties that are in play.
A brief look at DUI penalties
Depending on your set of circumstances, a DUI conviction can result in the imposition of a number of penalties. For example, a first time offender can be hit with up to 1,000 in fines, 48 hours in jail, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. A second conviction can result in up to $1,500 in fines, six months in prison, mandatory community service, a longer driver’s license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Each subsequent DUI conviction results in even harsher penalties. A third conviction, for example, can hit you with up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. The most serious offenders can be sent to prison for up to 10 years, and one’s driver’s license can be revoked for years and only reinstated once an ignition interlock device is installed. Making matters worse is the fact that these DUI convictions can haunt you for a long time, including affecting your ability to find a job, secure housing, and even obtain an education.
Find a criminal defense that is right for you
Although a lot of drunk driving cases result in plea agreements, that might not be the best option for you. That’s why you may want to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney who will give you the personalized approach that your case needs and deserves. Only then can you rest assured that your best interests will be as fully protected as is possible under the circumstances.