Have You Been Charged with a DUI?
If so, it is imperative to immediately contact a Grand Rapids 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.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.
The Importance of a Good Consultation
The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.
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
Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.