Consequences Of Driving While Intoxicated
For anyone stopped for and charged with driving while intoxicated, it is a good idea to hire a DWI lawyer to fight the charge. The consequences of a DWI conviction can be far reaching.
There are four main areas of consequences:
1. Court Ordered Penalties For DWI
If convicted of driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, a person faces a fine, jail time, community service, or driver's license suspension. The more times that a person is found guilty of DWI, the greater the penalty. First time offenders will likely receive a fine and jail time with the jail time suspended upon completing community service or attending driving classes. Someone found guilty for a fourth or fifth offense is likely to receive sentence of a year or two in jail. Actual penalties vary state to state and case to case.
A DWI conviction will cause a person to be classified as a "high risk driver". When an insurance company finds out about a DWI, the insurance company will either raise the insurance rate or cancel the policy altogether. In most states, a person convicted of driving while intoxicated will be required to obtain a SR22 from an insurance company, and many auto insurance companies do not handle SR22. The result is that an insurance company may cancel the convicted person's policy and the person may have to find a new insurance company and pay more for the insurance.
3. Driving Record And Criminal Record
Except for certain first time DWI offenses, a conviction for driving while intoxicated will be on a person's driving record. But unlike most driving violations which remain on a driving record for three years, a DWI may remain on a driving record for ten years or more. In fact, some states do not remove the conviction from a driver's record.
A conviction for a third, forth or fifth DWI is serious and may result in a year or two jail time. With the serious jail time comes a criminal record which means that the DWI will always be on the record.
Depending on a person's employer, a person convicted of driving while intoxicated may be fired. This is primarily applicable to employment that involves driving. However, when employment requires a security clearance, a DWI can affect the security clearance. If there is a question, a person can check his/her employee handbook.
Because the consequences of driving while intoxicated can involve so much of a person's life, anyone stopped for DWI should consult a DWI attorney. This is especially the case if it is a person's first offense. With first time offenders, there is a possibility that, if the case is handled properly, the consequences can be greatly reduced.
The above is general information only. If you have any questions about DWI or driving while intoxicated, talk with a DWI attorney licensed in your state.
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