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What happens when you get a dui What happens when you get a dui

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is an offense that comes with serious implications, legally and financially. In some cases, the impact may be far-reaching on your professional life, resulting in suspension or job contract termination.

Getting a DUI charge can be intimidating. While the process is mostly similar in each state, involving a court appearance, fines, and suspension of driving rights, there may be some slight variations. In New Jersey, for instance, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% is the legal limit, while Utah has a lower BAC legal limit of 0.05%.

Regardless, you will need legal assistance from a DUI lawyer NJ to help you navigate the processes that come with a DUI charge. If you need to make a court appearance, you’ll also need a legal representation for reduced penalties or even a dismissal.

1. Arrest and Charges

DUI offenses do not only happen when you drive after drinking alcohol. Drugs, even prescribed medication, can result in impaired driving. Driving with impairment (DWI) attracts similar penalties as DUI.

The severity of the penalty depends on whether a property was damaged or if injury to a person or death occurred. In any case, involving an experienced lawyer, like attorney Fort Lee, is essential.

When a driver is suspected of DUI, the process typically begins with:

  • Law enforcement officers pulling over a vehicle for erratic driving, speeding, or other traffic violations.
  • During the stop, the officer will conduct field sobriety tests or use a breathalyzer to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • If the BAC is above the legal limit, or if the driver fails the sobriety tests, the officer will arrest the driver and take them to the police station for further testing and processing.
  • Processing involves photograph taking and collection of personal details such as IDs, contact addresses and fingerprints.
  • The formal charges are then decided by a prosecutor after assessing the details of the offense.

2. Legal Proceedings

Following the arrest, the individual will face legal proceedings. Meanwhile, you may post bail to secure your release until your court date.

The first step is usually an arraignment, where the driver is formally charged and has the opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

If the case goes to trial, the prosecution will present evidence, such as the results of sobriety tests. The defense may challenge this evidence or argue for mitigating circumstances.

Conviction for a DUI can result in a range of penalties, including:

  • Fines: DUI convictions often come with hefty fines, ranging from $300-$500 fine for first-time offenders. It can be up to $1000 for a 3rd time offense.
  • Jail Time: Depending on the severity of the offense, jail time can be a possibility.
  • License Suspension: You may face a driver’s license suspension for some time. It limits your ability to commute to work or run errands.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): The court might mandate an IID, a breathalyzer-like device installed in your car that prevents ignition unless your BAC is below the legal limit.

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3.  Financial, Insurance, and Professional Implications

The financial consequences of a DUI extend beyond court fines. Legal fees, increased insurance premiums, and costs associated with mandatory programs can add up quickly.

Professionally, many employers conduct background checks. A DUI conviction can jeopardize current employment or hinder future job prospects.

Certain professions, especially those involving driving or requiring a clean criminal record, may be off-limits to individuals with a DUI on their record.

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