Tips & Advice
What is a DMV hearing?
A DMV hearing is a person's chance to give his or her testimony regarding the arrest and provide any evidence. It's an administrative procedure, not a criminal hearing, so a person won't be declared innocent or guilty at this time. People can bring an attorney with them, but this hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of the arrest.
How accurate are breathalyzer tests?
Breathalyzers are commonly used and widely accepted, but have some faults. Alcohol-containing substances in the mouth, like mouthwash or stomach acid, could result in a falsely high reading. Some devices can malfunction, or may be incorrectly calibrated. Blood tests are the most accurate tests.
How long does it usually take to resolve a DUI case?
For a misdemeanor, a speedy trial should take 90 days, but most cases are resolved in three to six months.
For a felony, a speedy trial should take 175 days, and most cases are resolved in five to seven months.
In bigger cities or larger population areas, felonies might take several years to resolve.
How long does a DUI stay on someone's record?
A DUI will stay on someone's record for at least five years, and could be longer depending on which state the person lives in.
Different states define felonies differently. Some common ways a DUI can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony include:
- If someone was injured.
- If your BAC is elevated to a certain limit set by law. This limit is usually around .16.
- If there are children in the vehicle.
- If the driver has prior DUIs.
- If the driver's license is suspended, revoked or restricted.
Can a DUI attorney help expunge a DUI conviction?
A DUI attorney can give you advice and information about expungement, but not all states allow drivers to expunge a DUI conviction from their record. Additionally, some judges might choose to not pass the expungement due to your driving record or another factor.
What are the most common mistakes people make after a DUI arrest?
- Assuming they need to plead guilty if their blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the limit.
- Not finding a DUI attorney quickly.
- Not finding a DUI attorney at all.
- Not scheduling a DMV hearing on time.
How much does it cost to hire a DUI attorney?
An initial consultation will most likely be free. Most attorneys charge between $750 to $1,500 for a plea. Trials generally cost between $2,500 and $25,000. If a case is particularly complicated or challenging, this might increase the bill.
What is the penalty for drunk driving?
This depends on which state the driver is in, how intoxicated he or she is and his or her history of drunk driving.
A first offense is considered a misdemeanor and can result in up to six months in jail. A notably high blood alcohol content level may earn someone more time.
Additionally, the driver may be fined anywhere from $500-$2,000.
The driver's license may also be suspended for 90 days, or longer. Several states will suspend a license permanently after the third offense.
Is it advisable to refuse a field sobriety test?
Drivers are not legally required to partake in a field sobriety test or to use a preliminary alcohol screening device.
Refusing to take these tests could benefit the driver by not giving the officer proof that he or she is intoxicated. However, it could create suspicion in some officers. In either case, if the officer finds additional evidence that a person is driving while intoxicated, he or she will likely be arrested.