How Likely Is Jail Time for a First DUI?

If you’ve had a few drinks, it’s not a good idea to take your car out for a spin. Driving Under the Influence, or a DUI, is a criminal offense, and the penalties for getting caught can vary.

Avoid years of consequences and potentially harming yourself or others by calling an Uber or asking someone sober to drive you and your car home, no matter how “good to drive” you think you may be. Still, many people get behind the wheel intoxicated, so let’s see, how likely is jail time for a first DUI and what can a local DUI lawyer do to help?

What Constitutes a DUI?

First, not all forms of driving after drinking will result in a DUI. You will only be arrested for a DUI if your blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher, or if you have any cannabis or methamphetamine in your system.

Still, it doesn’t mean you can play it by ear. Unless you have a breathalyzer on hand every time you drink, it’s better to play it safe and let someone else drive when you’re drinking.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI?

For a first-time offender, a DUI charge is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor.

This class A misdemeanor can be punished with a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a fine of $2,500.00.

There are also other penalties if other circumstances are present. For instance, if your blood alcohol content is higher than 0.16, you will be required to complete at least 100 hours of community service.

However, it’s rare for first-time offenders to be given the maximum penalties. However, the minimum fine is $500, which doesn’t include other fees like court charges and other costs for the rehabilitation courses.

Ultimately, it is in the judge’s discretion as to what exact penalty will be imposed. Whether you will face imprisonment will highly depend on the individual circumstances of your DUI, and this is where an experienced attorney can help. You need a robust defense to downplay your charges and consequences.

What Are the Consequences of a DUI?

Other than the potential imprisonment and a hefty fine, getting a DUI can also have other damaging consequences.

In the short term, you could be looking at a suspension of your driver’s license or an ignition interlock device, which is an in-car breathalyzer.

In the long term, a DUI on your criminal record can hurt your career prospects. Every time you apply for employment or a lease, you will need to disclose your DUI convictions, making it potentially harder to get hired.

What Should You Do If You Are Facing DUI Charges?

While a first DUI is a misdemeanor, and therefore is usually handed out standard sentences, if there are any additional facts which may increase your penalty, it’s always in your best interest to have an attorney by your side. When it comes to a DUI, prevention is better than cure. 

At Chicago Trusted Attorneys™, our DUI Lawyers can help you defend the allegations against you. Call us now at 312-519-3171 to schedule your free consultation or visit us online and fill out the contact form when you’re ready to face your charges with a professional by your side.