Have You Been Charged with a DUI?
If so, it is imperative to immediately contact a Melbourne DUI lawyer who knows all the defenses that may be available to you. To violate DUI law, the blood-alcohol content must be at least .08 percent, and if it is higher than .14 you can be charged with extreme DUI.
The alcohol content is determined by blood, breath, or urine tests. If you refuse to take one of those tests your driver’s license is automatically suspended. A DUI conviction is punishable by license revocation, months in jail, or years in prison for repeat offenders and stiff fines.
How long does a DUI stay on your record?The length of time a DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record (different from your driving record that the DMV uses) depends on the state you live in. Some states will remove a DUI from your criminal record after five years, at which point, if you are arrested and convicted for DUI again, the system will treat you as a first-time offender. In other states, this could be 10 years. Other states do not do this at all, meaning the conviction will always be on your record, unless you can expunge it.
How long do you go to jail for a DUI conviction?This depends on the state that you live in. Some states have mandatory jail sentences (although in some it’s only a few days) for a first-time offender, while other states have no jail time for first-time offenders. For each DUI conviction you receive, your odds of going to jail for a longer amount of time will increase.
Should you plead guilty to a DUI?Many people think they should plead guilty quickly to “move on” from the incident. But that will mean having a conviction on your record for years to come, which can have serious negative effects on your life. You should always discuss your case with an attorney before you ever make any decisions on pleading guilty.
What happens when you get a DUI?A DUI conviction can mean spending time in jail, having to pay fines and court costs, and attending drunk driving classes or entering into rehab. It could also mean having to deal with the effects of a driver’s license suspension, which could affect your job. Some states also require ignition interlock devices in the cars of people with DUI convictions. In short, the penalties are serious, and you should treat them seriously.
Best Time to Seek Legal Help
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation
- Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
- Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
- Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
- Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.
How to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.