If you just spent the night in
Orange County Jail’s drunk tank, right about now you may be thinking, “I don’t want to go
back to jail, ever,” and that’s an important consideration.
However, before you contemplate accepting a plea bargain, you want to
think long and hard about the consequences of a criminal conviction, even
if it is for a DUI.
Can you afford a criminal record?
First, consider your current job. If this is your
first DUI and there were no aggravating factors, you are facing up to 6 months in
jail if you are found guilty. Now, think about it: California is an “at-will”
That means that your employer can let you go for any reason, with the exception
of discrimination. If you are sent to jail for a while, would your job
still be there when you get back?
Second, if you are not a U.S. citizen, understand that certain criminal
convictions can affect immigration status. While most misdemeanor DUIs
won’t lead to deportation, a felony DUI, or a drug-related DUI could
negatively affect your stay in the U.S. or your application for citizenship.
Third, think about your career and future career opportunities. A criminal
record can impact your ability to obtain certain professional licenses
and it can affect career options, and not in a good way. Have a career
as a delivery driver, taxi driver, or do you work in education or medicine?
A DUI on your record can cause potential employers to say, “Thanks,
but no thanks” when you apply for a job. Even if your conviction
was for a misdemeanor DUI, if you lie on your application and the employer
later finds out about it, it could lead to an automatic dismissal and
you’ll lose credibility in your community.
If you’re convicted of a
felony DUI, that’s going to stop you from buying or
possessing a firearm. Under California law, people who are convicted of felonies cannot possess
firearms. While this doesn’t matter to some DUI defendants, to others
this is a big deal.
Getting a divorce, or anticipate a child custody battle? With a recent
DUI on your record, it’s going to make you look like a bad parent,
or at least a parent who doesn’t make sound decisions. You can bet
that your ex will use your DUI as ammunition in court.
Speak to Our DUI Attorneys First
Before you accept a
plea bargain or go to trial, speak to one of our
Orange County DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. After reviewing the facts
of your case, we can advise you on the best way to address your particular charges.