If you are facing a DUI charge, even if you have the help of a DUI attorney, it's not easy to know exactly what punishment awaits you in case you are convicted. This is because multiple factors will determine your sentence, factors such as these:
Your DUI Record
One of the first things the judge will consider is the number of past DUI convictions you have, if any. The more DUIs you have committed in the past, the more serious your punishment will be. In fact, a first DUI may be treated as a misdemeanor while further commissions of the same crime may be treated as aggravated DUIs or even felonies; the latter obviously attract harsher penalties.
Impact of the DUI on Others
Driving under the influence is a crime whether you have caused an accident or not. However, a DUI that ends up in a crash is considered more serious than a non-accident DUI. It's even more serious if the accident has damaged other people's property, or worse, injured other people. In short, expect harsh penalties if you caused an accident where other people sustained property damage or injuries.
Show of Remorse From You
Your actions following the DUI accident will also go a long way in helping the judge determine the appropriate sentence for you if you are convicted. For example, the judge may be lenient with you if you seem remorseful. For example, you can show remorse by apologizing to the victims of your DUI accident, and by seeming genuinely saddened by it. However, if you seem defiant, say you went partying and drinking immediately after you were bailed out after your DUI arrest, then the judge may have no option but to be harsh.
Your Standing in the Community
Another thing the judge may consider is your social, economic, and personal standing in the community. These things are important because they can differentiate whether you are a troublesome citizen or an upstanding member of the society who made a genuine one-time mistake. An upstanding member of the community, meaning someone with a solid job and family and who is well-respected, may enjoy some leniency from the judge.
Lastly, you should also know that the age of a DUI defendant also determines the kind of punishment they receive. Specifically, most judges are harsher with underage DUI offenders than adult DUI offenders. This may seem strange on the surface, but it makes sense if you consider that underage DUI offenders have committed two offenses (drinking alcohol and driving while intoxicated), and they are also more likely to cause accidents than adult DUI offenders.
Some people think that the only way an attorney can help you is to get you an acquittal, but this isn't the case. For example, a DUI attorney can help minimize your sentence by managing the above factors even if you are convicted.Share
19 April 2018
My son and a group of his friends got in some trouble for trespassing and were arrested. Every one of the boys that were there were charged with trespassing, criminal mischief and vandalism. I contacted all of the other boys' parents and we got together to discuss the situation. After hearing the boys' stories about what happened that day, we knew that we had to hire an attorney to get the boys out of some of the trouble they were in. I have been working on my blog to help other parents that are struggling with the legal system prosecuting their kids for things that they may not have done.