What is a DUI?
A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is a criminal offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. A DUI is an offense committed by someone who operates a vehicle while under the influence. A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is an offense committed by someone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit.
What happens at a DUI stop?
If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of driving under the influence, they will ask you to submit to sobriety tests (field sobriety tests), a breathalyzer test, or both. You are required to submit to these tests in most states. You may not be aware that you can refuse some parts of these tests. For instance, in some states, you can refuse to undergo field sobriety testing without penalty.
If you fail either test or both tests, you will be arrested for driving under the influence and taken into custody.
What happens after I am arrested?
The first thing that will happen is you will be taken to the police station for booking. A mug shot will be taken and fingerprints will be taken at this time as well. During booking, you may also be required to provide a urine sample. You will then be placed in a holding cell until you can post bail and be released. In some cases, such as DUIs, the arresting officer may decide that it is best for you to remain in jail until arraignment, which would occur the following morning before a judge in court.
How much will it cost?
The answer to this question varies widely. The time and expense involved in a DUI case depends on many factors, most notably the facts of your case (including whether there was an accident) and whether you have a prior DUI conviction. For example, if there was an accident or injury involved, or if you have multiple prior DUI convictions, your defense is likely to be more expensive than someone who has no prior record and did not cause an accident.
Most experienced DUI attorneys will offer a free initial consultation. During that consultation, the attorney should be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of how much your case may cost.
What are the penalties for DUI?
The court may impose fines, loss of driving privileges, and possible jail time. Jail time varies depending upon your age, a number of prior offenses, and blood alcohol level. In addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, you may also face higher insurance rates or cancellation of your policy.
Do I need an attorney for my first offense DUI?
Some people wonder if they need an attorney for their first offense DUI. This isn’t a simple yes or no question because many factors must be taken into consideration when determining if hiring an attorney makes sense financially. In most cases it is recommended that someone with no prior record hire a DUI lawyer Rockville, MD from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright there are potential defenses that can be raised in order to reduce possible penalties such as fines or jail time.