If you or somebody you know has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Mississippi, you need to know what the laws are. Depending upon the circumstances of your individual case, you could be facing as little as a day or two in jail or up to five years in prison. Mississippi follows the national standard of .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) for DUI’s, but not all situations and circumstances are the same, so it’s important to discuss the individual details of your case with your lawyer. Also, depending upon whether or not this is your first DUI or your third, you could be facing a variety of different penalties, if convicted.BAC Limits For Different Drivers
In Mississippi, if you’re a driver age 21 years or older, .08 percent is the legal limit. This means you can be charged with driving under the influence if you’re BAC is shown to be .08 percent or higher. Commercial drivers are held to a stricter standard, so their limit is .04 percent. Finally, drivers under the age of 21, who legally can’t drink alcohol, can be arrested for DUI at .02 percent. No matter what the circumstances of your individual case are, your first priority after an arrest needs to be speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney. Whether you’re the parent of a teen, a commercial truck driver or a regular motorist, a DUI can seriously impact your future and your wallet.First Offense DUI
The first-time DUI offender has the lightest penalties involved. This is considered a misdemeanor. If this is your first DUI, you could be facing up to 48 hours in jail. Additionally, you could also be looking at fines between $250 and $1,000. You can also lose your driver’s license for 90 days, which can make every day activities next to impossible. Not only are the fines and penalties a problem, a DUI conviction can seriously impact your life. You could lose your job and have a hard time finding another. It’s important to note these penalties are associated with simple DUI charges. If your case is more complicated, or if somebody got hurt, you could be facing additional jail time or fines.Second Offense DUI
For second-time DUI offenders, it’s possible to spend as little as five days in jail or as long as one year. You’re also facing fines between $600 and $1,500 and a two-year driver’s license suspension. Since the second offense is typically a misdemeanor, you’ll most likely be doing your time in a jail rather than a prison, state or federal correctional facility.Third Offense DUI
The third DUI offense is a felony in Mississippi. You’re looking at a minimum of one year in jail and potentially up to five years in prison. You could be facing fines between $2,000 and $5,000 and a driver’s license suspension of five years. If anybody was injured or you have additional charges, you could be facing heftier fines and even more time behind bars, so the sooner you speak with a criminal defense attorney, the better.Additional Charges
Although simple DUI cases do occur every day, it’s quite common to see more complicated cases where additional charges are tacked on. This is typical of cases where somebody was injured or somebody died in a crash involving a drunk driver. It’s possible for a simple DUI arrest to quickly get complicated with the addition of extra criminal charges.What About Implied Consent?
Implied consent essentially means that if you refuse a BAC test, you will automatically be subject to a fine and driver’s license suspension. Refusing a BAC test is not essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card. There are consequences. For the first refusal, you face a 90-day license suspension. If your first offense was a DUI, your next refusal will be an automatic one-year license suspension. If this is your second time refusing a BAC test, you’re looking at another 90-day suspension. If your first or second offense was a DUI, and you refuse the BAC test, you’re going to face an automatic one-year suspension of your license.When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Since no two cases are the same, it’s critical to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Whether you’re facing a simple DUI arrest or multiple charges associated with an injury accident, a criminal defense attorney can be your advocate during a difficult time. A DUI conviction isn’t just about losing your license and dealing with the initial fallout, it can impact your whole future. If you or somebody you love has been arrested for DUI in Jackson or the surrounding communities, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (877) 231-1600 for an immediate consultation.