If you’ve been charged with a DUI for the first time in your life, you might be extremely worried about how it will impact you in the future. You might be thinking of possible effects a conviction could have on your ability to get jobs or loans in the future, or how it will affect your insurance rates. But don’t give up hope. A first-time DUI charge is not the end of the world, and you can still fight the charges.
What could happen if you are convicted
If the prosecution is successful in proving the charges against you, then you will have to serve some jail time. You’ll also have to be on probation for a while and serve a few shifts of picking up litter as a condition of your probation. In addition, you could face some administrative fines.
If your blood alcohol content was greater than .20% at the time of your arrest, the penalties become more severe.
What to do
The first step you should take is to hire an attorney immediately. Some people feel the temptation to try to fight the charges on their own in order to save money. But having an experienced DUI attorney by your side who has been through the DUI defense process hundreds of times before is your best bet for overcoming the charges.
Attorneys know how to navigate the court system. They know which arguments and strategies are most likely to work. They also know how to meet certain filing deadlines and formatting requirements that you might accidentally get wrong if you try to do it yourself.
The quicker you are to contact an attorney, the better. Hiring one sooner means that you’ll have more time to formulate a strategy together for how you are going to confront the charges against you. With luck, you will be able to get the most favorable result possible for your case and can start getting back on track.