After being arrested for DUI, the legal process will begin. Where do you stand with your charges? Do you know what laws you broke and what you’re facing when going into court? There are probably a lot of things on your mind, but you hire a DUI lawyer to assist you, some of those concerns can be relieved.
What Must a District Attorney Prove?
When a DA files charges against you for DUI, he or she will need to have a solid case. There are two, sometimes three, things that must be proven, depending on the state in which you were arrested.
- You were intoxicated. One of the main elements of the case against you is the fact you were under the influence. If the prosecutor can’t prove that, there really isn’t a case. He or she will provide proof either per se, or with actual proof of drunkenness or being under the influence of drugs. In a per se case, the blood alcohol concentration level typically comes into play. In an actual impairment case, you could even be charged with a legal prescription in your system.
- You were driving. Even if you weren’t in the driver’s seat, you could be convicted of DUI in some situations. The court will look at a handful of factors that include if you were awake or asleep when the police arrived, if the motor of the car was running, where the keys were located and how close you were to the steering wheel.
- You were on a public road. This isn’t a required element in some states, because there are some that prohibit DUI anywhere, even on private roads. In states where it is an element, the prosecutor would have to show you were stopped on a roadway that the general public has access to.
What Are the Penalties?
Penalties in DUI cases vary greatly from case to case and state to state. Some common penalties for DUI include:
- Fines – This typically accompanies other penalties, and could range from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Prison – Many individuals convicted of DUI will spend at least some time in jail, and some may even be sent to prison for a longer amount of time.
- Probation – This is often something the convict will have to complete after being released from jail or prison.
- Suspension – To keep the streets safe, you may face a license suspension for DUI.
Contacting a Lawyer for Assistance