What Are The Different Types Of DUI Charges?

DUI charges often attract hefty fines or even jail time, depending on the severity of the crime. The possible punishment for DUI charges depends on the following:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level
  • Your criminal record
  • Damages resulting from your DUI

An experienced DUI lawyer can explain the state laws that apply to your case and help you establish a good defense. Also, understanding the nature of your crime can strengthen your defense strategy. Take a look at the charges you'd face if arrested for driving under the influence.

Misdemeanor DUI

Typically, first and second offenses fall under misdemeanor DUI charges. These charges include distracted driving, speeding, and driving without a license.

A first-time DUI offender might face misdemeanor charges provided their crime didn't threaten or harm the life of another person. The court could impose community service or a short jail term for first-time offenders. Generally, a misdemeanor DUI charge carries a possible jail time of less than one year.

In some states, subsequent offenders could face a mandatory minimum jail time if their BAC level is exceptionally high. For instance, in Pennsylvania, a subsequent offender with a BAC of .16 can be sentenced to a minimum of 90 days in jail.

You could lose other privileges if you're convicted of a misdemeanor charge. For instance, you might lose your professional license and firearm permit. In some cases, you could be disqualified from serving in any law enforcement position.

Felony DUI

If you are convicted on DUI charges thrice within ten years, your fourth DUI offense becomes a felony charge. Even if one of your DUI convictions happened outside your home state, it counts as a prior conviction.

The aggravating circumstances that make a felony DUI charge include:

  • DUI resulting in injuries or death
  • DUI with a minor passenger
  • DUI with a suspended license

Generally, a felony DUI charge attracts several penalties, including jail time, fines, and license suspension. Additionally, the court could order the installation of an ignition interlock device in your car. The breathalyzer device allows you to start your car only if your alcohol level is below the pre-set BAC limit.

Remember that your car insurance costs will increase once you're convicted of a felony DUI charge. If you are arrested for drunk driving, contact a reputable DUI attorney. They can help reduce your felony charge to a misdemeanor. Also, they can get you acquitted of your DUI charges if they can prove inconsistencies in the prosecutor's evidence against you.

For more information, contact a DUI lawyer near you.