Most people think of a DUI as something that is not serious, when in fact, a California DUI is a very serious offense. It is not something that will result in a slap on the wrist. You are better off obtaining an experienced DUI attorney if you want to protect your future, and your reputation.
In this article we will go over some of the possible long-term repercussions of a DUI conviction:
1) Loss of Drivers License
One of the first things that happens in a DUI case, is a special DMV hearing that determines whether or not your driving privileges should be revoked. If you do not handle this matter properly, you could lose your license. In serious offenses, and repeat offenses you are advised to retain a DUI attorney that will advocate for you and protect your legal driving status. If your job depends on your driver’s license, don’t take any chances, call a defense lawyer.
2) Loss of Career
Some occupations require that you have a license to operate your business. With a DUI conviction, this license may be taken away from you, leaving you without a livelihood.
In another instance, you may have an occupation that requires you to be a model citizen, or a role model for children. A DUI conviction will almost certainly affect your career in this case.
Yet another situation is a job that requires you to drive. A DUI may result in a license suspension, which in turn would affect your ability to perform your duty. If any of these describe your situation, contact a DUI attorney immediately.
3) Background Checks
A DUI conviction with factors such prior DUI convictions, child endangerment, high-level blood alcohol content (BAC), property damage, bodily injury or death will likely be considered a felony– a felony that will permanently stay on your criminal record.
In terms of future employment this may end up haunting you for years to come. Employers doing a background check will find out you’ve had a DUI conviction.
Volunteer organizations and potential landlords also run background checks and will be able to see your convictions. If you are in this situation, it’s important to hire an attorney that see about getting you a DUI Expungement.
4) Higher Insurance Rate
Following a DUI conviction, your motor-vehicle insurance rates will likely increase dramatically because you are considered “high-risk” by insurance companies.
It’s important to note that it’s illegal for insurance companies to adjust your policy “mid-term,” in California. However, once the policy is up for renewal, they will likely raise your rates if they find out you have a DUI. In most cases, the rates will go up— often by 20 to 30%.
If you’re lucky, they won’t find out about it. DON’T MENTION IT!
5) Civil Lawsuit
A potentially catastrophic result associated with a DUI or DUID, is the possibility of someone being severely injured or killed because of your negligence. In such a situation, you face the very real prospect of being sued for a large sum of money in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. In addition to having to pay monetary damages, the court process is time consuming and can turn your life upside down.
Getting an aggressive defense lawyer by your side within hours of the arrest is the key if you find yourself charged with a Felony DUI with Bodily injury.
6) Your Reputation
After a Driving Under Influence arrest or conviction, you may worry about how your friends, family or colleagues feel about you. You may feel shame and embarrassment, or be treated differently by certain people or groups. Friends and family may be very concerned about your well-being, which will feel uneasy as it seems they are prying into your personal life, even if you think everything is under control.
If they find out at your workplace, it may be even trickier. Tensions could form between your co-workers as they see you in a different light. The security of your position may even become threatened. What was once a relaxed, fun job may become stressful and uncomfortable.
7) Student Benefits
Many Universities do not accept students who have DUI convictions on their records, and scholarships may be revoked or denied. Most colleges conduct background checks and require applicants to disclose their criminal history directly on their college application. If you are a student and have a pending DUI case, or conviction on your record, please contact us immediately.
8) Loss of Time
Your current schedule may be also be affected by a DUI arrest and conviction. Court dates, jail time, community service hours, drug and alcohol programs can wreak havoc on your work schedule, free time, and plans.
In addition, job seekers, renters may be at a severe disadvantage to other applicants if they have a DUI conviction, which could result in time being wasted.
9) Jail or Prison Time
In the case of repeated offenses, or a felony DUI resulting in bodily injury or death, you could actually face serious time in prison. Here is a general guideline to the jail/prison penalties associated with DUI convictions:
- First DUI: Minimum 2 days jail time, maximum 6 months.
- Second DUI: Minimum 10 days jail time, maximum 1 year. If you receive the minimum you may be allowed to serve it in multiple sessions instead of all at once. You can shorten it to just 4 days if you agree to serve two 48-hour sessions.
- Third DUI: Minimum 120 days jail time (4 months), maximum 1 year.
- Fourth DUI: Minimum 180 days jail time (6 months), maximum 1 year or 16 months in state prison.
- Felony DUI: DUI can be tried as a felony if you killed or severely injured someone, or if you have numerous repeat offenses. Felony DUI carries 1 to 5 years in state prison.
If you contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest, your chances are better at winning your case!
Obviously, the best way to avoid the above long-term effects of a DUI is to not drink and drive. If you have already been arrested for a DUI, contact an attorney for a consultation as soon as possible. Your freedom and livelihood may be at stake.
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 16 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
Need a Los Angeles DUI Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529