Driving under the influence is one of the most irresponsible things that any motorist can do. Even a beer or cocktail or two can impair drivers who not only put their life at risk but that of others as well. A DUI charge has an array of consequences both in the short term and long term. Many states have imposed harsher penalties for first time offenders that include suspension of their driver’s license and enrollment in a substance abuse program, to name a few.

Factors that influence a DUI outcome

There are several factors that influence the outcome of a DUI charge. Most important is your history of DUI offenses. As a first time offender you may receive a lighter punishment but the penalties get much harsher for those with multiple DUI charges against them. If your DUI accompanies other violations such as reckless driving or hit and run or you were driving with a child or children as passengers, there are stiff punishments that could keep you off the road and in prison for a long time.

The laws for underage DUI are different where even a BAC or blood alcohol content of 0.02% can lead to an arrest and subsequent charges. A Dumas, TX DUI lawyer will work with you if you are in a legal conundrum. A DUI legal representative of the likes of Jerod Pingelton may even be able to save you from some serious financial and legal repercussions.

Criminal and driving record

If you choose to drink or consume any drugs, get behind the wheel and injure someone, you can be convicted of a felony and be ordered to serve jail time. The penalties may be lighter if this is your first DUI offense where an experienced Texas DUI lawyer may find loopholes in the defense’s case and be able to get your case dismissed or receive a lighter punishment.

According to Dumas, TX DUI defense attorneys, the driving record and criminal record are separate entities when it comes to criminal charges for DUI. If you are pulled over by law enforcement on suspicion of driving under the influence and you refuse the breathalyzer test, you could still be found not guilty in court. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles will go ahead and revoke your driver’s license.

Can a DUI be expunged?

A DUI can be removed from your criminal record in some states like Texas. More specifically, your DUI record can be expunged or removed when and if you meet the state’s requirements. Your Texas DUI lawyer can file a Petition for Expunction if your criminal case was dismissed, declined, or if you were awarded a not guilty verdict, or the case was resolved with a deferred disposition. In the case of a deferred probation on a Class C misdemeanor, your record could be expunged although the process could take a few months.

Short term consequences

The short term consequences of a DUI charge include temporary revocation of your driver’s license, fines and penalties such as attorney’s fee, court fee, insurance, and penalties levied by the Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, a DUI conviction is not going to do your insurance bill any good. You can expect to pay a higher premium since you are now considered a high risk individual and are also likely to lose certain types of coverage. A judge may also order you to attend a substance abuse program that could last as long as 12 weeks or more in addition to jail time and community service.

Long term consequences of a DUI

A DUI conviction can have multiple implications that include the risk of being offered a job or apartment since your record will show up in criminal background checks. Your current employer could also consider terminating your position but most likely your position does not involve driving for your employer so you should have nothing to worry about here.

If you plan to attend college, there is the possibility of being denied access to some colleges or programs and jeopardize the chance of receiving a scholarship. Your Dumas, TX DUI lawyer will not be able to help you in this regard if it comes to that – not even the fantastic law firm of Jerold Pingelton. A felony DUI conviction will result in the loss of certain personal liberties and even deportation if you are not a US citizen.