Many people mistakenly believe that the judge will be lenient if they simply plead guilty to their first DUI offense, especially if they don’t have anything else on their criminal record. By doing this, however, the person will likely find they receive the maximum penalties and will need to go through quite a bit to complete their sentence and regain their driving privilege. It’s far better for a person to contact a Dui Lawyer in Ponte Vedra, even if it’s their first time in legal trouble.
Penalties for a First Offense
Part of the reason a person might decline to hire a lawyer is because they don’t realize how severe the sentence could be if they’re convicted, or they plead guilty. Even if it’s a person’s first offense, they could receive up to a year in jail, $500 to $1,000 in fines, and a license suspension of up to six months. If they refused the BAC (blood alcohol content) test, they would automatically have a one-year license suspension, even if they are not convicted of the DUI. If the person pleads guilty or is convicted, they will now have a criminal record that can make it difficult to find a job in the future.
Hiring a Lawyer
Even though hiring a lawyer can be expensive, it can be well worth it when a person realizes they’re facing a year in jail. That means a year with no income, no way to provide for their family, and no way to be with their family except short visits. If the person has a child, they can miss quite a bit in a single year. If the person chooses to work with a lawyer, however, there’s a much lower chance that they’ll be sentenced to the full year in jail. In fact, the lawyer may be able to have them receive only a couple of days in jail and probation or be able to have the charges dismissed altogether.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI, don’t just plead guilty. The sentence you’re facing is harsh and can completely change your future. Instead, contact a DUI lawyer in Ponte Vedra to see how they can help with your situation.