California has led the way in enforcing some of the nation's harshest driving under the influence (DUI) laws. Although DUI cases can vary significantly depending on the unique facts involved – such as the specific charge and one's criminal history – there is no denying the fact that when individuals are convicted of DUI, they face serious, even life-altering repercussions.
The penalties that come with DUI convictions can impact nearly all aspects of one's life and well-being. Because these penalties tend to vary depending on the circumstances involved in a case, it is essential to work with experienced Modesto DUI lawyers who make it a point to work personally with clients. At Scott Mitchell Law Offices, our legal team is committed to working with clients on an individual basis so that they can gain a clear understanding of the penalties they face. For DUI charges, these penalties may include:
- Court fines and administrative costs
- Possible terms of imprisonment
- Driver's license suspensions and revocations
- Community service
- Court-ordered classes or treatment
Again, these penalties can range in severity. Individuals who have prior DUI convictions within 10 years, for example, may face larger fines and longer terms of imprisonment or probation.
One of the most important things accused individuals need to understand about the penalties they face when charged with a DUI is that a number of additional repercussions may exist. Aside from penalties handed down by criminal courts and the DMV, it is vital for you to consider how these penalties can impact your life. For example:
- Convicted individuals typically face numerous ongoing, hidden expenses. These may include the costs of paying for transportation because they do not have a license, the administrative costs of having to reinstate a license, increased insurance premiums, lost income caused by time away from work, and many others. These hidden costs can quickly add up and can negatively affect one's financial well-being.
- Having a criminal conviction on record may limit one's opportunities in life. In tough economic times, competition for jobs and schools is stiff. Employers, schools, landlords and others who may conduct background checks may view DUI convictions negatively and may favor applicants who do not have criminal records. This is perhaps one of the more profound consequences of being convicted of a crime.
- Restrictions are common after a DUI conviction. Probation terms can limit one's ability to freely travel out of the jurisdiction, state, or country and can also subject individuals to harsher penalties should they be convicted of a new offense. Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) can also be an unwanted restriction, not to mention an added expense.
Regardless of what your specific charge may be, knowing the DUI penalties you face can help you understand the importance of legal representation. For more information about your case, the penalties you face, and how our firm can help, contact a Modesto DUI attorney at (209) 418-7368 or fill out a free case evaluation form.