Types of DUI Charges
There are nearly infinite possibilities when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Mississippi. Depending upon the unique details of your case, you could be facing a wide variety of charges, including open container, crashing while intoxicated or driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. The most important thing to do after any type of DUI charge is to contact a proven criminal defense attorney who has successful DUI case experience.Open Container Law
The State of Mississippi doesn’t have your typical open container laws. You can actually have open containers in your car, whether you’re a passenger or a driver, as long as the driver isn’t impaired. However, there may be a City Ordinance (law) that forbids an open container and a person could be charged with a crime under a city ordinance. It’s important to note that, it’s still not a good idea to have an open container, whether you’re technically in the legal safety zone or not.Misdemeanor DUI
Misdemeanor DUI charges are typically for first or second offenses. These charges are also usually the case when there aren’t too many extenuating circumstances. If somebody was injured or if there were additional charges, you could be facing a felony DUI or additional misdemeanor or felony charges. DUI can result from having a blood alcohol content great than .08% for an adult as measured by the Intoxilizer machines in use all over Mississippi. Adults can also be charged with what lawyers call “Common Law DUI.” This means the officer does not have an Intozilizer reading/printout but the officer will testify that he believes the person arrested was operating the vehicle on the public roads while under the influence of intoxicating liquors which impaired the person’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. There is also a DUI “other substance” which could be under the influence of illegal drugs like marijuana or under the influence of prescription drugs. Minors have what we call a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving.Felony DUI
A felony DUI charge happens on your third or fourth offense. Also, you could face a felony DUI charge if there are other charges or factors associated with your particular case. If somebody was injured or killed, you’re likely going to be facing felony charges. Whether you’re facing felony or misdemeanor DUI charges, your best bet is speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. A DUI charge in Mississippi will often lead to at least one (1) year in prison or on House Arrest.Zero Tolerance- Underage
In Mississippi, under age drivers who are charged with DUI face the State’s strict zero tolerance laws. If you’re under the age of 21 years old, and you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between. .02 percent and .08 percent, you will face administrative penalties for your first, second, third or subsequent offense. For your first offense, you’re looking at a 90-day driver’s license suspension and also a fine of $250. Each subsequent offense carries stronger penalties.High BAC
Cases involving particularly high BAC are also taken much more seriously than cases involving low BAC. Depending upon whether this was your first, second or third offense and the amount of alcohol in your system, you could be facing additional penalties, if convicted. If you had more than twice the legal limit, count on facing stricter sentencing. Many states have enhanced penalties for higher BAC levels but Mississippi does not for adults.Crashing While Intoxicated
Crashing while intoxicated also complicates cases. This is doubly true when somebody is injured or killed. You could be facing additional charges of endangerment or manslaughter. If you were involved in a car accident when you were allegedly driving under the influence, you need to speak with your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.Driving on Suspended, Revoked or Denied Driver’s License
A major impact of DUI charges is getting one’s driver’s license revoked or suspended. If you’re caught driving with a suspended, revoked or denied driver’s license, you could be facing criminal charges for that too. Talk to your lawyer about getting a hardship license so you can get to and from work or other important places during your case.Underage Possession/ Transportation of Alcohol
Underage possession and transportation of alcohol can also add additional charges to your case. Where minors are concerned, Mississippi has a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving and also strict sentencing for underage possession and transportation of alcohol.When to Call a DUI Attorney in Jackson
After any DUI arrest, it’s important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney as swiftly as possible. No matter what variety of potential charges are involved with your particular case, the best thing you can do is contact a skilled criminal defense attorney with proven DUI case experience. It’s also important to think not only about the immediate implications of a DUI charge, but also the long-term impact of a DUI on your record.
If you or somebody you love have been arrested and charged with DUI, contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (877) 231-1600 for an immediate case consultation.