Posted on: 26 July 2016
If you have been charged with a DUI, then you may be extremely concerned about your impending court date. You should know that you are not alone. Around 1.5 million people are arrested every year for DUIs. Your first step in making sure that the court proceedings are as favorable as possible is to hire a DUI lawyer, such as one from Hart Law Offices, PC. There are a few other things you should do as well.
Do Not Drive On A Suspended License
When you were first arrested for the DUI, the police officer likely took your license. Do not panic about this. This is a normal procedure and you were likely given a temporary license and a notice of the suspension. In many cases, you will be able to drive for a short period of time before the suspension goes into effect. For example, in California, you can drive for 30 days with the temporary license until it expires. Your license will be revoked or suspended after this. If you feel like the suspension was unlawful or if you want to contest the suspension, then a review can be scheduled to go over your case.
If you decide not to contest the suspension, then you will be unable to drive for a period of time. This timeframe varies greatly from state to state, and you may lose your license for 3 months, 6 months, or an entire year. Once the suspension is over, you will need to pay a fee to get your license back. The fee is typically a bit over $100.
If you want a favorable court outcome, then you absolutely should not drive once your license has been suspended. If you are caught driving with a suspended license, then a separate charge will be added to your record. A judge may see you as someone who cannot follow the law, and you may not be offered probation. If you are, the probation period might be lengthy.
Instead of driving with a suspended license, ask your lawyer how you can apply for a restricted license or a special operator's permit. This type of license will allow you to drive to and from work, school, and alcohol related programs.
Be Prepared To Pay A Fine
Throughout the entire country, a DUI is classified as a misdemeanor and you are eligible for jail time. Six months is the maximum jail sentence for first time DUI offenders. However, you probably will not have to go to jail at all if you have a fairly clean criminal record. There may be some exceptions if your BAC was extremely high, but probation is much more likely if your BAC was close to the legal limit.
In most cases, the judge overseeing your DUI case will ask you to pay a fine for the offense along with the probation. Fines can range from about $500 to $2,000, so be prepared to pay out some cash when you go to court. You should try to secure some money so the fine can be paid in full immediately after your court appearance. Payments can be made to the court in cash, online, or through your lawyer. You can also mail a check or money order to the court or make a credit card payment over the phone.
If you do not have the full amount of the fine, then you can ask the court to arrange a payment schedule so you can pay in installments. If you know that you do not have all the money, then it is wise to set up a payment plan right away. If you fail to pay the fine or if you do not work out a formal agreement to make payments, then your probation may be revoked and you may need to spend some time in jail.Share