If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), taking DUI classes focusing on substance abuse and DUI prevention could make a big difference in your sentence. Judges determine your sentence based on a variety of factors, and one of the more important ones is your participation in a DUI class (or multiple DUI classes). Other factors include military service, character references, job history and family and/or medical hardships; all of which can impact your DWI/DUI penalties.
However, before you do anything, you should contact a DUI lawyer if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, the advice of an experienced attorney may be crucial to the outcome of your case. With so many factors involved ranging from DUI bail and court fees to the charge itself and your future hanging in the balance, it is extremely important that you receive guidance from an experienced legal professional.
Judges in DUI cases may consider sentencing alternatives such as house arrest, community service, probation and other alternatives to jail time. In many cases, however, these alternatives are contingent on the defendant's participation in DUI classes, some of which are available through DUI schools online, as well as other programs. In some states completion of these programs is required by law before the offender can have his or her driver's license reinstated.
The content of DUI classes covers a range of issues, from substance abuse to DUI prevention education. Though the curriculum varies by state and may depend on how many times the offender has been convicted of driving while intoxicated, in all states the intent of DUI classes is to educate offenders on the dangers of driving while under the influence, prevent them from doing so again, and help them address any addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
The duration of DUI courses varies by state. In California, for example, DUI classes range from three to 30 months in length, depending on the number of offenses, as well as other factors. In some states, the required DUI classes are far shorter in duration. A DUI lawyer practicing in the state in which you were arrested is best qualified to advise you on the courses you will be required to take.
A DUI first offense is typically classified as a misdemeanor, though defendants suspected of causing an auto accident that caused harm to another party are often subject to felony charges for DUI, and DUI cases involving fatalities may even result in a charge of vehicular manslaughter.
First-time offenders often face significant fines and driver's license suspension or restriction. In many cases, first-time DUI offenders are required to perform community service as well attend DUI classes.
A second offense DUI arrest is a more serious matter that may expose the defendant to jail time and other severe penalties.
The good news? In most cases, the judge will take your completion of DUI classes into consideration when determining your sentence. This also will have the added benefit of affecting total DUI cost.
If you have been charged with DUI, a DUI lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if there are any mitigating factors that might help reduce your sentence or penalties. Your case will largely depend on these factors as well as any other contributing factors such as whether you have been convicted of DUI in the past. In some cases, DUI attorneys are able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. For more information, including the typical cost for a DUI lawyer, contact an attorney today.
Additional consequences of a DUI conviction may include fines, higher insurance premiums, vehicle forfeiture, driver's license suspension and jail time. To minimize the consequences, contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible.