As someone who has been accused of a DUI, one of your main concerns is wondering if you’re going to end up in jail. If you miss time from work, you might lose your job. If you’re not home, you won’t be able to help care for your children.
Going to jail could negatively impact multiple parts of your life, so it’s reasonable to wonder if you’re going to end up in jail because of a DUI charge. Here’s what you should know.
A first-time DUI: Offense penalties
If you are facing a first-time DUI, you should know that there is a possible jail sentence. A first-time offense leads to a jail sentence of between 48 hours and 30 days.
Second-offense DUIs are more serious and do have longer potential jail sentences of five to 365 days. The extreme jail sentence, a year, isn’t used often but may be more likely if someone was hurt or your blood alcohol concentration was particularly high.
Third-offense DUIs have potential jail sentences as well. They have jail sentences of between 60 days and three years.
Subsequent offenses can lead to penalties that are much more extreme. Fourth offenses, fifth offenses and subsequent offenses lead to between one and five years of imprisonment.
It’s possible to avoid going to jail in some cases. You may be able to negotiate with the help of your attorney and minimize the risk of jail by agreeing to go through substance abuse treatment or other alternative options.
Of course, you also have an opportunity to defend yourself.
How can you defend against a DUI?
Defending yourself against a DUI requires your attorney to prove that you were not impaired at the time of a traffic stop or that the traffic stop was mishandled in some way. They will look into the evidence that the prosecution claims it has on you, and they will focus on finding parts of the case that don’t add up. With the right approach, it may be possible to get the charges dropped or to eliminate the risk of jail time that could negatively impact your career.