Having one extra drink with your friends before leaving the bar could push you over the legal limit. Instead of going home at the end of the night, you might face criminal charges. Drunk driving is always a criminal offense that the State takes seriously. Even a first-time DUI in Wellington can bring harsh legal consequences.
If you are facing drunk driving charges as a first-time offender, these charges can impact your life and future. An informed DUI attorney could review the case to help you determine the best legal strategy.
Potential Penalties for a First-Time Drunk Driving Offense
State Courts can impose several different penalties on a drunk driver, even if it is their first offense.
Even first-time offenders could face a maximum of six months in jail if found guilty of driving while drunk. If aggravated circumstances surround the offense, such as a minor in the vehicle, someone suffering bodily harm, or the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeding 0.15 percent, the potential jail time could increase.
A Court could impose up to a $1,000 fine on a first-time DUI offender. In aggravated circumstances, the monetary penalties would also increase.
A Court could sentence a first-time offender to probation for up to one year with six months being the minimum mandatory term. In addition to going on their permanent record, probation requires people to meet with their Probation Officer and pay a charge monthly.
Interlock Device on a Car
Although state Courts do not typically require ignition interlock devices for a first-time DUI offense, if the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeds 0.15 percent, a Court must require it even for a first-time offender.
Suspended Driver’s License
Even first-time offenders can lose their license for at least 180 days. To reinstate their license, they must follow the correct procedural requirements and pay a fee. If a driver relies on their car to drive to work, take their kids to school, or make it to medical appointments, a Legal Representative can help them get a hardship license.
A state Court can mandate that a person complete a minimum of fifty hours of community service.
Drunk Driving Classes and Substance Abuse Evaluation
A Court must require a convicted DUI offender to attend a drunk driving school, where they might undergo substance abuse counseling.
After learning of the charges, working with an informed Attorney as soon as possible can increase the chance of lesser penalties and a better outcome. In some situations, a Legal Team in Wellington can get a first-time offender enrolled in a DUI diversion program instead of a stricter punishment.
Defense Strategies for a First-Time DUI
Legal Counsel can examine the facts of a particular case to determine the best legal approach. Leifert & Leifert Attorneys have had success with the following defense strategies:
- The arrest was illegal because the Police Officer violated a Defendant’s rights.
- The Officer did not have probable cause to require the car to stop.
- The arresting Officers misinterpreted the results of a field sobriety test.
- The Police conducted a field sobriety test incorrectly, such as by using excessive intimidation.
- The Defendant could not perform the field sobriety tests because of a balance, coordination, or another physical ailment—not because they were drunk.
- The breathalyzer or blood alcohol test was defective, misinterpreted, or inaccurate.
A dedicated Legal Representative can fight aggressively on a motorist’s behalf. An individual in Wellington can defend a first-time DUI with the help of our Lawyers.
Let an Attorney Assist You with a First-Time DUI in Wellington
The State is harsh on drunk drivers. Even first-time offenders can face life-altering consequences. For your best chance at a favorable resolution, you need to work with an experienced Legal Representative. A seasoned Attorney understands the nuances of the law. They have practical skills, working relationships, and legal knowledge to make a difference.
If you are facing a first-time DUI in Wellington, set up a consultation with our team at once. Begin your defense today.