Most people never pay attention to how the legal system works until they are facing criminal charges themselves. It is at that point that they wonder what the specific laws are in their state and how these mandates can impact their financial and legal future.
When you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, it is crucial that you immediately research and find out all that you can about drunk driving laws in your state or the state in which you have been arrested. You can get up-to-date information about those laws as well as free DUI assistance provided by a DUIWise.com selected DUI Lawyer.
DUI Laws by State
When you take advantage of the resources found at DUIWise.com, you can easily find out what the DUI laws are in the state in which you live or were arrested and charged. Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states. All of the states likewise use the same blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent to determine if someone is too drunk to drive.
However, despite these similarities in the way that they define and determine drunk driving, many states differ in the way that this offense is prosecuted in and punished by the court system. Some states may charge you with a misdemeanor if you are a first-time offender or if you did not harm anyone or anything while driving intoxicated. Others will charge you with a felony regardless of the circumstances of your DUI.
When you want to advocate for yourself in court and avoid the harshest penalties, it is critical that you understand the state’s DUI laws. It is also vital that you realize the advantages of hiring a skilled DUI attorney to take your case before you go to trial.
To get started, select your state from the map or from the list of states below
Hiring a Drunk Driving Lawyer
If you have never before hired an attorney, you may have no idea how to search for one who is qualified to take your case and whom you can afford to put on retainer. The actual process of retaining legal counsel is not complicated. Still, you can make it easier to understand and go through if you first use the DUI assistance found on DUIWise.com.
Many people facing DUI charges wrongly believe that they cannot afford to hire an attorney. They think that they have to appear before the judge by themselves and take their best chances of being let go without any significant consequences for their drunk driving offense.
As you can find out on the website, however, you have several options open to you if you want to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. The Constitution guarantees you a lawyer if you cannot afford to hire one. To qualify for a court appointed lawyer, you must provide the court with proof of your income and assets.
If the court decides that you have the monetary means to hire an attorney, you can look for one that offers different methods for payment. DUIWise.com can give you information on retaining a lawyer who offers payment plans and other ways to pay for your legal fees.
Once you get a lawyer on retainer, your counsel can take over building a case that you can take to court and present to the judge overseeing your DUI trial. Your attorney will know the state’s drunk driving laws and how to apply them to your particular case. He or she can review important details in your case like:
- how and when you were arrested
- if the field sobriety tests were given properly
- if your rights were upheld during your arrest, processing, and arraignment
- how intoxicated were you and whether you are a first-time offender
Depending on your DUI lawyer’s review of your case, he or she might ask the judge to drop or reduce the charges. These facts can also be used to build a defense case that could help you escape the worst punishments for drunk driving in that state.
Drunk Driving Punishments and Sentences
Another reason to take advantage of the free resources at DUIWise.com involves learning what kinds of sentences states commonly give out for people convicted of drunk driving. Depending on the circumstances of your conviction, you could face punishments that include:
- civil fines
- community service
- jail or prison time
- suspension of your driver’s license
- court-ordered monitoring via ignition interlocks
- court-ordered rehab or support group attendance
Any or all of these possibilities could await you if you are found guilty of drunk driving in that state. If you are a first-time DUI offender, chances are that you might be charged with a misdemeanor and given a lighter sentence of a civil fine and community service.
If you are a repeat DUI offender or if you harmed a person or property during your crime, you could face jail time, steep fines, and court-ordered rehab, supervision, and other types of monitoring. Regardless of how many times you have faced DUI charges in the past, it is critical that you use the legal resources found on DUIWise.com and have an attorney ready to represent you in court. You may be able to avoid the harshest sentencing and get back to your normal life sooner.
Long-Term Ramifications of a Drunk Driving Conviction
State DUI laws can leave you dealing with the ramifications of your drunk driving conviction long after the judge hears and rules on your case. The laws in every state are designed to discourage drunk driving and to teach repeat offenders a lesson so that they change their behavior.
Still, even after you vow to change your own behavior and avoid drunk driving in the future, you still may be left to cope with the aftermath of your conviction. When you want to resume your normal life and put your DUI behind you, you should learn more about the possible ramifications of a DUI conviction at DUIWise.com.
As mentioned, the court can sentence you to constant monitoring by either placing you on probation or by ordering your car be outfitted with an ignition interlock device. This device is essentially a breathalyzer that you must blow into before you can start and drive your car. If the device detects alcohol vapors in your breath, it will shut down the ignition and report the violation to the court.
The judge may also put restrictions on where and when you can drive. If your license is not suspended, it can still be restricted so that you can only drive to and from work or school. The court may place a tracking device on your vehicle so that it can monitor where and when you are driving. If you violate the terms of the restriction, you could be arrested and sent to jail.
These and other consequences of a DUI conviction put a damper on the way that you live your life and the manner in which you can interact with others. You may find it harder to keep a job and gain your family’s trust because of your DUI offense.
These ramifications often follow cases that were decided with little to no legal representation in court, however. When you want to minimize the impact that your drunk driving arrest will have on your life, you are encouraged to take advantage of the free DUI assistance today at DUIWise.com.
Drunk driving is a crime in all 50 states. The manner in which your DUI case is heard, decided, and punished can vary on the state in which you were arrested and charged with DUI. You can get updated and helpful information by retaining a lawyer and by using the free legal resources available to you today at DUIWise.com.