If there is one thing that people fear, it is the prospect of going to jail after being found guilty of a crime. Here are a few tips to help you avoid jail time when accused of driving under the influence (DUI):
Whether Your Charges Attract Minimum Penalties
Most jurisdictions specify minimum penalties for specific crimes. For example, you may find that receiving three DUI convictions within a span of five years attracts a mandatory minimum incarceration period of six months. If your crime has a minimum penalty and it involves incarceration, then you have no option but to serve the minimum time if you are convicted.
Whether There Are Any Aggravating Factors
DUI charges aren't created equal; some charges are more serious than others, depending on the circumstances of the motorist. Most states have specific factors that elevate DUI charges, and if one or more of the factors apply to you, you may be charged with aggravated DUI. The risk of getting incarcerated after an aggravated DUI conviction is higher than after an ordinary DUI conviction. Some of the factors that may get you charged with aggravated DUI include DUI with a child passenger, an unusually high blood alcohol content, or DUI within a designated school zone.
Whether You Have Prior DUIs
The judge will also consider your prior DUI convictions when determining your punishment. In this case, it is not just the number of DUIs you have had in the past, but also the period within which you have had them. Having multiple DUIs within a short period of time is likely to earn you incarceration time because your previous punishments didn't stop you from committing another offense.
Whether You Have a Plea Deal
Many criminal charges are resolved before trial when the accused agrees to plead guilty to reduced charges and accept reduced penalties. This saves the government the resources it would have spent prosecuting the suspect; it also helps clear the case backlog at the local court. Your chances of avoiding incarceration are good if you have accepted a plea deal from the prosecution.
The Strength of Your Defense
Lastly, the strength of your defense also determines whether you can avoid jail time. In most cases, having a dui attorney working your case greatly increases your chances of avoiding jail time. For one, the lawyer can get you a better plea deal than you are likely to get alone. Not only that, but the lawyer may also come up with better defense strategies to show why you shouldn't be incarcerated.Share