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First-time DUI: What happens to you?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Getting arrested for a DUI is never something anyone plans for. It can be jarring, scary and completely unexpected. That said, most people do not know what will happen to them after they are pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

There are a variety of potential consequences and the process can vary. However, there are a few things you might be able to expect.

The process

Immediately after you are pulled over, you will likely have to go through a field test. This can include a breathalyzer test and a variety of actions to prove intoxication.

If you are suspected and determined intoxicated, you will then be arrested and booked. The police officers will take you to jail where you will be fingerprinted and photographed. You may be released immediately after this if someone pays your bail. Sometimes there is a mandatory waiting period so you can sober up.

After this, you will have to appear in court to face your charges. In court, you can either plead guilty and face the punishment, or plead not guilty and try to fight the charges. You will want to speak with an attorney prior to appearing in court to discuss your options.

The consequences

If you are found guilty, there are a few different consequences you could face. A few common punishments include:

  • Losing a license – in all states, even a first-time conviction means you will lose driving privileges for at least some time
  • Paying fines – the amount varies
  • Going to jail – in some states jail time is mandatory for all DUI convictions
  • Probation – even if you do not go to jail first, you may be put on probation
  • Drunk driving school – most places require some sort of drunk driving education program prior to reinstating driving privileges
  • Ignition interlock devices – sometimes these devices are installed in your car, preventing driving while intoxicated

In addition to these physical consequences, there are financial consequences. Getting a DUI can cost a lot.

The process and consequences of a DUI can be severe. This is just a brief overview of the potential results of getting arrested.