In most states, it is illegal to drive while under the influence. That means if a law enforcement officer finds that you have exceeded the allowable blood alcohol content (BAC) for driving, you will be arrested and face DUI charges.
Under state law, it is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or greater. A driver can also be charged with a DUI if they are stopped for driving under the influence of illegal drugs or prescriptions.
While most people think a DUI conviction will only result in a license suspension, the truth is that you may face more than just a suspension. Working with a skilled DUI defense attorney can help you avoid any additional consequences.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
The penalties that come with a DUI conviction are contingent on prior convictions and the blood alcohol content (BAC) connected to their case. For instance, first and second convictions often come with lesser penalties, including paying fines, license suspension for a period not exceeding one year, and possible jail time.
However, third, fourth, and subsequent convictions often bring stiffer penalties. Besides lengthy jail time and higher fines, your license could be suspended for several years or be revoked permanently. Depending on state laws, the offender may also be required to do several hours of community service and have a functional ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Other consequences of a DUI conviction may include difficulty securing employment and high insurance rates. However, even with these challenges, you can still bounce back and live a fulfilling life after a DUI conviction.
How to Bounce Back After DUI Conviction
Hire a Lawyer
One of the first things you should do when charged with a DUI is talk to your lawyer. A DUI lawyer can help evaluate your case and determine what can be done to minimize and penalties you may incur if you are convicted.
“A DUI lawyer can talk to you about your case and determine your best course of action for limiting consequences such as license suspension, fines, and jail time,” said Attorney Scott Bischoff of Adams & Bischoff. Depending on the case, your attorney could argue to have your charges dropped, or push for a plea deal to reduce the chance of major consequences such as jail time.”
Another step to take after a DUI conviction is to do away with alcohol consumption. In the case of severe alcohol addiction, rehabilitation and extensive detoxification will go an extra mile in your recovery process.
Talk to a Therapist/ Counselor
It is always a good idea to seek personal therapy or counseling after a DUI conviction. Therapists have the expertise and resources to help you manage stress and stay calm. They can also guide you on what to do to enhance your mental stability so you are not turning to alcohol to self-medicate or deal with stress.
Look Out for Support Groups
Whether or not the court orders you to join an alcoholics anonymous (AA) meeting, it is always best to do so. AA meetings, for instance, offer an excellent platform to share about your struggles while listening to and supporting other people. Seeking out help can show the courts that you have consciously decided to control your drinking habits.
Complete DUI Classes
Sometimes, the judge may order you to take DUI classes at the time of conviction. DUI classes are intended to educate you on the risks of driving under the influence. Skipping those classes can worsen your case and bring additional penalties.
You don’t have to let a DUI charge or conviction ruin your life. By taking steps to reduce penalties and avoid finding yourself with another DUI charge in the future, you can avoid any serious disruptions to your life such as jail time. No matter how challenging your case may seem, you can still recover and get your life back on track if you follow the right steps.