If I Get a DUI, What’s the Worst That Can Happen to Me?
- September 5th, 2019
- Bruce Denson
- Comments Off on If I Get a DUI, What’s the Worst That Can Happen to Me?
A common question DUI clients have is, “What is the worst that can happen to me?” And because I believe in clear, direct communication, I am going to answer that question. But I am also going to tell you to ignore the answer. There is hope!
After a DUI arrest, you may be feeling your luck has run out and you start thinking the worst is going to happen to you. Let me give you some good news. The worst is NOT going to happen to you. Unless you have a lengthy criminal record, you killed or seriously hurt someone, or you lie to the judge, you are going to have some options.
At this early point in your DUI case, it is best to think of the resolution in terms of a bracket. There is a range of potential outcomes. And like most things that have a range, possibilities in the middle are the most likely, and worst/best-case scenarios are less likely.
So, to answer your question, “What is the worst that can happen to me?” You could go to jail. HOWEVER, I CANNOT REMEMBER EVER HAVING A CLIENT WITH A FIRST TIME DUI WITHOUT A DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY GO TO JAIL. It is highly unlikely you are going to do any jail time, and there are things we can do now to make sure you don’t face any jail time.
In the middle are the statutory minimums the court must impose. These are your most likely case scenarios. We are talking about fines, classes, community service, and license suspensions. I would counsel you to hope for the best, but to start preparing yourself to deal with this potential outcome. Again, we can help you with this now.
On the better end of outcomes, it may be possible for us to get the state to agree to unenhanced sanctions in your case. If that happens, it will reduce to the fine and some of the other penalties even though the case remains a DUI.
Even better, it may be possible to have the state agree to reduce your case to reckless driving. Because of the positive impact of this on your driving record, we will give any option to have your case reduced serious consideration.
Finally, it may be possible to have your case dropped by the State or dismissed by the Court. This would be the best possible outcome. Statistically, dismissal is not likely, but again, we will take any shot we have at making this happen. We can only make this determination after completing Discovery and given the impact a DUI has on your record, it makes sense to take this shot, even if it is a small one.
Give us a call, 727-896-7000.