It can be tempting to minimize the significance of a first DUI offense, but all DUI charges should be taken seriously, as they can have long-term impacts on your life. These consequences could include you losing your employment, the loss of your driving privileges, a significantly increased insurance rate, cancelled insurance and even jail time— yes, even for a first offense.
So, what do you need to do to minimize these consequences? You need to maximize your DUI defense plan by consulting with a qualified attorney, and you need to do it immediately after your arrest. DUI laws are constantly changing, which is another reason why it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney when forming your DUI defense plan.
Many factors are considered along with your DUI charges. Some are called “mitigating factors” and may help you reduce the severity of your charges and sentencing. Others are called “aggravating factors” or “grossly aggravating factors” and can increase the severity of your charges and sentencing.
- Mitigating factors: Have you voluntarily agreed to attend an alcohol or drug program? Was your blood alcohol level below .09? Were you driving safely and lawfully at the time of your DUI? Have you had a clean driving record for the previous 5 years? These factors may help you.
- Aggravating factors: If you were driving dangerously or recklessly or trying to evade law enforcement, these factors are taken very seriously. Also, your blood alcohol level being over .15 increases the likelihood of severe sentencing.
- Grossly aggravating factors: Have you already had a DUI in the last 7 years? Was there a minor riding in the vehicle with you or did you injure someone else in an accident while you were intoxicated?
When it comes to DUI defense, circumstances and your history are important factors that will be considered. It is best to consult with an attorney right away to minimize your lifelong consequences.