Many people think a DUI charge is not a significant offense. But while Florida classifies DUIs as misdemeanors, receiving one actually has serious penalties and far-reaching consequences.
How can a lawyer help?
No matter the number of offenses on your record, hiring an attorney is often a necessary step when you’re facing a DUI conviction. Experienced DUI attorneys have the knowledge to help you understand and navigate your charges. And because a DUI can have life-changing consequences, an attorney may help you build a strong defense to help minimize the impact of a conviction on your future.
Without the help of an attorney, a DUI conviction can change your life in several ways. Some of which include the following:
- Increased isolation — One penalty that most DUI offenders face is driver’s license suspension. A license suspension for a DUI can last years, depending on your DUI history. Being unable to drive can make day-to-day tasks, like grocery shopping, more challenging. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, a suspended license can affect your personal and professional relationships. You are likely to have a difficult time seeing family and friends or getting to work without the ability to drive.
- Employability — While potential employers cannot deny you an interview because of your criminal history, they can retract an offer after running a background check. Generally, you cannot get a DUI expunged from your record because police need access to your history to determine the severity of your conviction in any following arrests. So, employers will be able to see your DUI charges. Legally, an employer can deny you a position after running a background check if they provide a legitimate reason. Especially with jobs that require a certain amount of driving, you’re likely to have difficulty getting an offer if you have a DUI on your record.
- Financial troubles — It’s no question that a DUI charge comes with heavy fines. They can reach upwards of thousands of dollars. Depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, or if you had minors in your vehicle at the time of arrest, you could face even higher fines. Any financial hit can seriously upheave your life, especially if you have a family to take care of. Paying for a new car, a home mortgage or college tuition may be put on hold when you’re facing costly DUI fines.
Don’t let a DUI change your life
In certain circumstances, a DUI can be a felony instead of a misdemeanor. If that is the case, there are even more severe and impactful consequences waiting for you. But regardless of what DUI charges you’re facing, you shouldn’t hesitate to hire legal defense to help you fight those charges and hopefully minimize the impact that a DUI can have on your future.