DUI & Violations
A Stain on Your Record
In some states, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can stay on your driving record permanently. Currently, only 28 states allow for a drunk-driving conviction to be expunged after a set number of years. In Arizona and Colorado, for example, a DUI conviction will be removed automatically after 5 years. However, in Kansas, a DUI conviction can only be removed after five years if a motion is filed and all applicable court fees are paid. States such as Washington, Utah and Nebraska mandate longer reporting periods. At 55 years, New Mexico requires the longest reporting period of all 50 states, not including those 22 states that allow drunk-driving convictions to remain on a driving record permanently.
Each state mandates unique drunk driving laws, which vary considerably across the country. In California, for example, a driver’s license is suspended for a minimum of four months for a first-offense California DUI conviction. A second California DUI conviction carries a one-year suspension and a third carries a two-year suspension. Criminal charges may also be filed, depending on the driver’s blood alcohol level and the extent of injuries to other people and/or public or private property.
In most states, the length of suspension that you face is dependent upon a number of factors, including whether you refused or failed a field sobriety test, whether you’ve had any previous DUI arrests on your driving record, and whether you are over or under 21 years of age. The time of suspension typically ranges from 30 days to one year for a first-offense DUI conviction.
Fines and Court Costs
Fines and legal fees also vary by states; however, on average, a DUI conviction can cost between $300 and $1,200 in fines. DUI attorney fees, license reinstatement fees, alcohol treatment costs and DUI school fees also may be incurred. Because DUI laws can be confusing — and further complicated by the driver’s blood alcohol level and number of previous DUI arrests — you may want to hire a skilled DUI lawyer to help minimize your DUI penalties and save you time, money and possible jail time.
Hire an Attorney Specializing in DUI/DWI
Each state treats DUI arrests differently. If your state permits you to request an administrative hearing to avoid having your driving privileges suspended until a hearing officer has made a decision, consider hiring a skilled DUI lawyer to act on your behalf. A skilled DUI lawyer can subpoena pertinent documents and witnesses who may have information about your case.
While it is not necessary to hire a DUI lawyer, a DUI lawyer with excellent training and distinguished experience can raise an appropriate and effective defense, as well as meet all deadlines to avoid automatic penalties. A skilled DUI lawyer will know how to attack the Government’s drunk driving evidence and challenge the results of your breath or blood test.
When facing a DUI arrest or conviction, you want a DUI lawyer who is qualified, has a strong command of the DUI or DWI laws in your state, and can find a solution to your legal problem fast. With stakes so high, you don’t want to gamble on your future.