Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County? In the face of DUI charges, your first concern may be going to jail, fines, AA classes, and an Ignition Interlock Device.
While imprisonment and a criminal conviction on your record are certainly the most serious consequences associated of a DUI, it is also important to consider non-criminal penalties and other potential consequences of a conviction or even an arrest alone, which include:
1. Educational Opportunities
Teens and young adults convicted of DUI may miss educational opportunities that could translate into missed career opportunities. Student athletes may lose scholarships or face suspension from the teams that served as their platforms to professional sports.
A DUI conviction can have a negative impact on college applications or on applications for graduate school, law school, medical school and occupational training programs.
2. Work-Related Penalties
Depending on the field that you work in, a DUI may impact your current job or your career. For example, some, but not all employers will fire someone because of a DUI. Also, many employers consider a criminal conviction a deal breaker, and won’t even consider someone for a position with a DUI.
If you must drive for your job, you may be unable to work in the same position or field for a time. If you miss work because of jail time or community service, your job may be in jeopardy.
3. Loss of Driving Privileges
A DUI arrest initiates license suspension proceedings by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These are conducted independently of your criminal case, and you must schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest – or you will lose your license even if you are not convicted of DUI in criminal court.
Losing your license will impact your personal and professional life, and in Orange County being unable to drive for a time is a serious inconvenience.
4. Increased Insurance Costs
A DUI conviction will result in increased insurance premiums. This can add up to $1,000 or more in increased insurance costs each year for about five years, depending on where you live and what type of insurance you have.
5. Personal Repercussions
Carrying the label of a convicted DUI offender can impact your personal life and relationships. Neighbors, co-workers and people in your community may be quick to judge you for a DUI arrest or conviction, and you may discover that personal relationships with your friends, family, and others could suffer.
Are you in the middle of a divorce or a child custody battle? You can bet that your ex will probably use your DUI as ammunition in court, and family law judges don’t take kindly to parents who have recent DUI convictions, especially if the children were in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest.
Are you prepared to fight your DUI charges?
The best way to avoid criminal and non-criminal penalties associated with a DUI is to fight your charges. Although you may have been arrested for DUI, with a BAC well above the legal limit, this does not have to turn into a conviction.
A DUI defense attorney who understands the errors made by law enforcement in drunk driving arrests and testing can consider how to challenge your charges from every possible angle.
An improperly administered breathalyzer test may offer sufficient grounds to have this evidence rendered inadmissible in court. An unlawful police stop may provide your attorney with the necessary evidence to have your case dismissed before it even goes to court.
To learn more, call our firm today to meet with Orange County’s DUI Queen!