First DUI Penalties
If this is your first DUI arrest ever, do not think that it is minor or that the judge will be lenient on you because this is your “first one”. You have to be ready for the worst DUI first offense punishment, but prepared to fight for the best outcome. Retain an experienced DUI attorney and get to work on your first DUI defense now! Some states specifically provide a statutory method under their state laws to request a judge to clear your record of a first DUI-DWI offense.
However, this can only be done after a specified period of time, and is available only if you commit no other criminal offenses. In other states, your record of a first offense DUI-DWI conviction can never be expunged. The sentence for a first time DUI-DWI conviction or guilty plea must stay within your state’s mandated minimum and maximum guidelines.
These maximums and minimums are established by each state’s statutes, and are based on this being your first DUI-DWI offense. Most states allow a judge to have some latitude in handing out sentences. Remember to be extremely careful during this trying time in your life. Do not drink and drive and tempt fate again – the last thing you need is a second DUI as you fight your DUI first offense.
Possible First Time DUI Offender Punishments
The sentencing requirements you will receive for your first DUI-DWI conviction almost invariably include:
- Jail time
- DUI-DWI school attendance
- Court fines
- Community service
Depending on your state’s DUI first offender laws, there is typically a minimum amount of time you must spend incarcerated if convicted of a DUI-DWI offense. How much additional time you have to serve (beyond what was served immediately after being arrested) depends on the judge’s discretion. Most jurisdictions give credit for time spent in jail on the night of your arrest.
Your state may have a DUI first offense program in place. In this program you are usually required to complete alcohol and drug assessments and treatment. Getting help for a possible addiction problem can include:
- Checking into an alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility (rehab)
- Going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and providing proof of attendance
- Living in transitional residential housing, also known as “halfway houses”
Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs is a serious illness that can destroy your life quicker than you can imagine. We want you to get the help you need, and we can point you to the addiction recovery resources in our area.
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