Across the United States, there is nowhere a person can be where they cannot be charged with driving under the influence, better known as DUI. Generally, your blood alcohol content must be .08 or greater to be charged with DUI, and in many cases the charge also stems from failing breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. If you find yourself in this situation, numerous factors can play a role in your case. To learn more, here are some key aspects of DUI law.
When facing a charge for driving under the influence, numerous penalties are possible. These can include fines, suspension of your driver’s license, community service, probation, or even jail time. In most cases, courts will take many factors into consideration, such as prior criminal history, seriousness of the offense, and other aspects.
Illegal Search and Seizure
When a police officer pulls you over for suspicion of driving under the influence, DUI law protects you against illegal search and seizure. Therefore, an officer must see open containers of alcohol, slurred speech or other physical impairments, or other aspects that give them reasonable cause to conduct a search. If none of these are present, an officer has no legal authority to search your vehicle.
If you have your driver’s license suspended, you will need to schedule a DMV hearing in most states to inquire about getting your driver’s license reinstated. While you can go to these hearings alone, it’s usually best to see if the lawyer who represented you during your court hearing can also be present for this hearing. By doing so, not only will it not feel so intimidating to you, but you will also have legal counsel present who can present your case in a more professional manner.
In many cases, plea agreements can be reached with prosecutors, often leading to reduced charges for you. When this occurs, you can likely retain your driver’s license, as well as avoid large fines or jail time. Instead, you are likely to receive probation and community service, which is much easier on you and your family.
Since DUI law is very complex, knowing as much as possible prior to your court hearing can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. This, combined with retaining a skilled attorney, can provide peace of mind before, during, and after your case is resolved.