Bein g charged with DUI is scary for anyone, and then the practical consequences begin to mount. For example, if you depended on your driver’s license to get to work or to ferry the kids to school and sports, the loss of your license can hit hard. Many people get their licenses back within a few months, but not all do. Below are a few top reasons why.
You represented yourself
Some people do not see DUI as a serious charge. Perhaps they have not thought through the long-term implications of a conviction, which can include trouble finding work and tremendous increases in car insurance. In any case, if you choose to represent yourself in court rather than go with a public defender or private lawyer, you may miss deadlines or not know the best arguments to make. For example, did you know that you have only 10 days after a charge to start to begin to get your license suspension reversed?
Speaking of public defenders, they do great things, but a private lawyer should have more time and attention for your case. There is a two-pronged approach when a DUI charge is pending. You are fighting to get your license back, for one thing, and you are also, ostensibly, working to avoid conviction, or at least, to get minimal punishment. These are a lot of paperwork and issues for a public defender juggling cases or for one person who may have little legal knowledge.
You have prior convictions
The Michigan Department of State website lists the various consequences that people convicted of DUI or OWI (operating while intoxicated) may face. For instance, a third offense may involve driver’s license confiscation, vehicle immobilization, a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. The more convictions and the more serious the DUI (higher BAC, people injured or killed, etc.) the more at risk your license is. It is even possible you could lose your license for a year or more if you decline to take a breath test.
Your license is a CDL
You stand to lose your commercial driver’s license for one year if convicted of DUI while driving a commercial vehicle or if you refuse a breath test while driving a commercial vehicle. That is, if this is your first offense. If it is a second or third offense, expect to lose your CDL for at least 10 years.
For people charged with DUI, their first priority is often getting their license back. Getting in touch with an attorney can help ensure your rights are upheld and that you get fair treatment as your case progresses through the judicial system.