Many people make the mistake of not contesting their first DUI charge. Despite their innocence, they decide that challenging it is not worth the time or money.
The problem is, one DUI charge can be the beginning of a downward spiral that ends up causing you problems for life. Getting one DUI conviction does not automatically means you will pick up more. However, if you were to get another, the court would take this first offense into account. They would look at you as a repeat offender and treat you more harshly as a result.
Do not feel pressured into plea bargaining a DUI
A prosecutor may tell you all kinds of stories to get you to plea guilty to the DUI or some lesser charge. Yet, they do not have your interests at heart. They do not care if you were over the limit or not. They just want to add another name to their list of successful prosecutions. Here is what they do not tell you will happen if you plead guilty:
- Your insurance premiums will rise: You are looking at an increase of around 164%, and it will take several years for your insurance to decrease again.
- It could double your time in jail: First-time offenses carry a maximum six-month jail term. In a second offense, the judge has the option to send you to jail for one year. Pleading guilty on the condition you escape prison now may backfire.
- It could cost you the chance of a job: Some professions and employers will not accept the criminal record you will have if convicted of a DUI.
There are many ways to defend a DUI charge. Giving in and pleading guilty to something you did not do might seem the easy option now, yet it could be disastrous in the long term.