First DUI Offense Consequences

Too many people make the mistake of thinking a first DUI/DWI charge is nothing more than a traffic ticket. A first DUI offense is a serious charge; it is a criminal misdemeanor offense — although under certain circumstances it can be charged as a felony. Regardless, it will remain on your criminal record for life if you are convicted. In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended, you will go to jail or prison, you will pay outrageous fines, and your auto insurance rates will likely increase, not to mention having to install an ignition interlock device.

I am attorney Chuck Franklin, and I provide a tough, experienced defense against DUI charges. Examining the circumstances of your arrest and the admissibility of the evidence is a key element of DUI defense. Breathalyzer tests, blood tests, and any scientific examinations must be administered and tested correctly to be admissible. In addition, police must act in a certain manner with respect to your 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment rights and the gathering of evidence. Because I prepare every case for trial, I will thoroughly investigate your arrest and the evidence obtained.

First-Time Penalties Are Harsh

Unlike most misdemeanor convictions, the legislature has set out harsh minimum penalties that must be imposed by the court upon a conviction for DUI. These penalties can have far-reaching effects, which may impact every facet of your daily life. Accordingly, it is imperative that you have the best representation possible. The following are the mandatory minimum sanctions for a first drunk driving offense:

  • 10 days in jail; all but 24 hours may be suspended upon successful completion of a substance abuse screening program
  • $250 fine plus an 84 percent surcharge
  • $500 prison construction fund assessment and $500 Department of Public Safety (DPS) fund assessment
  • Jail incarceration costs
  • License suspension of at least 90 days
  • Mandatory substance abuse screening and counseling
  • Possible community service
  • Ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you have

Extreme DUI Penalties

If your BAC is .15 percent to .199 percent, you may be charged with extreme DUI. Penalties include those for regular DUI with additional fines and actions:

  • 30 days in jail (21 suspended if CIID for one year at court’s discretion). Home detention may be available.
  • $250 fine plus an 84 percent surcharge
  • $1,000 prison construction fund assessment, $1,000 DPS fund assessment, and $250 DUI abatement fee
  • Jail incarceration costs
  • License suspension of at least 90 days
  • Mandatory substance abuse screening and counseling
  • Possible community service
  • Ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you have

Super Extreme DUI Penalties

A BAC of .20 percent or higher may be charged as a super extreme DUI. Penalties for conviction are more severe than extreme DUI and may include:

  • 45 days in jail (31 suspended if CIID for one year at court’s discretion). Home detention may be available.
  • $500 fine plus an 84 percent surcharge
  • $1,000 prison construction fund assessment, $1,000 DPS fund assessment, and $250 DUI abatement fee
  • Jail incarceration costs
  • License suspension of at least 90 days
  • Mandatory substance abuse screening and counseling
  • Possible community service
  • Ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you have

I also represent people charged with subsequent or repeat DUI offenses. It is especially important that you have representation in these cases because the minimum penalties for subsequent DUI offenses increase significantly.

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