Although DUI sentencing is pretty straight forward for most traditional cases of driving under the influence, a variety of issues or additional charges could complicate your case. Since each case is unique and each person’s history or situation is individual to his or her own experiences, it’s important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Whether you have prior convictions, were involved in an accident or have also been charged with speeding or reckless driving, it’s essential to speak with an attorney after your arrest.
Prior convictions, especially of driving under the influence, can have an impact on the type of sentencing you’re facing if convicted of a DUI. For a second DUI offense, you could be looking at up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,500. For your third or fourth DUI offense, you’re looking at felony charges, which means you could spend more than a year in a prison facility if convicted. If convicted, prior convictions also have an impact on the amount of time your license can be suspended or revoked.
Cases involving higher than usual blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are also taken more seriously. If you were found to have more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in your system, you could definitely be facing harsher sentences if convicted.
In the State of Mississippi, we have something called Implied Consent, which means that if you refuse a BAC test, you will automatically be subject to a fine and a driver’s license suspension. The first time you refuse a BAC test, you’re looking at a 90-day license suspension. The second time, you could be looking at a one-year suspension (if you’ve already had a DUI), or another 90-day suspension.
Speeding and/or Reckless Driving
Depending upon what happened prior to getting pulled over and your arrest, you could be facing a variety of different moving violations. In some cases, we see people pulled over for speeding or reckless driving who are then charged with DUI. It’s possible to have multiple moving violations or other charges associated with your DUI arrest, and depending on the severity of your case or whether or not anybody was injured, they could have a huge impact on the sentencing portion of your case.
If a child was in your vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, you could be looking at an additional charge of child endangerment. Because a minor child was involved, the prosecution takes these charges very seriously. If convicted, you could also have additional time added on to your sentence.
If you were involved in an accident and somebody was injured or killed, expect to face some pretty serious charges on top of the initial charge of DUI. If it’s your third or fourth offense and somebody died, you could be looking at a felony murder or manslaughter charge. If somebody was injured in an accident associated with your DUI arrest, you need to speak with an experienced and proven DUI attorney as soon as possible about your case.
After conviction of a DUI charge, you’re going to need an SR-22. This is a document that is proof that you have a safety responsibility policy. The SR-22 is prepared by your insurance company and filed with the department of motor vehicles, and you may be required to carry your SR-22 for years after your conviction.
Depending upon the unique circumstances of your case, you could also be facing some community service. Typically, if you can get community service, that’s a good thing, so ask your lawyer about the possibility.
In most cases, whether it’s your first, second or third offense, if convicted, you’ll be going to DUI school as part of your sentencing. You’ll be expected to fully complete the course in order to satisfy your sentencing requirements.
Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you could be facing a portion of time on probation. This will depend upon what charges you were convicted of, your prior history and other factors associated with your case.
In some cases, it’s possible to get a provisional or restricted driver’s license during your court proceedings. This type of license will typically allow you to do little more than go to work and back. The situation might be further complicated by the fact that your vehicle may have been impounded too. Drivers with multiple DUI convictions might also have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.
If you or somebody you love is facing DUI sentencing in Jackson or the surrounding communities, contact Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 today.
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