DUI charges vary from state to state, but they typically include the possibility of time in jail, a significant amount of fines, and the loss of the ability to drive for a certain period of time. Those who have already been arrested and convicted of a DUI in the past may face more serious penalties, depending on the amount of time since their previous conviction and the lookback period for their state.
Possibly Have the Charges Dismissed or be Found Not Guilty
A successful conviction depends on the ability for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrested person is guilty. If there is any question as to whether the breathalyzer was working properly or other evidence is valid, or whether the original stop itself was valid, a lawyer might be able to show there is reasonable doubt their client is guilty. This could lead to the charges being dismissed before the trial begins or the arrested person being found not guilty in court.
Possibly Have the Charges Lowered
If the prosecution is not willing to dismiss the charges completely because they believe they still have a chance of a guilty verdict, it’s possible they will be willing to lower the charges the person faces. This could enable them to avoid jail time and, in some cases, avoid a criminal record even though they’ll have to pay the fines for a traffic violation. This could be a much better outcome compared to the penalties they’re facing for a DUI.
Possibly Have a Deferred Judgment
If the charges cannot be dismissed or lowered, the lawyer might look into a deferred judgment. In this case, the person is sentenced as if they’re guilty but no verdict is entered. If they complete the sentence, the verdict will not be entered and they will not have a criminal record. If they do not complete the sentence, they will receive a guilty verdict and could face jail time.
These options are not available everywhere, but they are something to ask about when the arrested person speaks with their lawyer. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI, seek DUI Criminal help from a lawyer right away to ask about these and other options that might be available to help minimize the impact this could have on your life now and in the future.