Driving Under the Influence
When you are arrested for a DUI, there are two main issues to consider:
- The criminal DUI charge
- The suspension of your license
Depending on your background and the facts of the case, a DUI can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In most cases, a first time DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor and the defendant will be eligible for court supervision. Typically, a first time DUI offender, if found guilty or pleading guilty, will be subject to a term of court supervision, alcohol and drug classes, fines, and possibly community service. It is important to consult with an attorney immediately after being arrested to determine where your case falls in the wide range of DUI cases and possible penalties. It is also important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of DUI law. If there is a way to fight your case, you should fight to avoid the imposition of fines, classes, community service, and a DUI on your record.
Statutory Summary Suspension
As soon as you receive a Notice of Summary Suspension (typically upon release from custody on a DUI charge), you should hire an attorney to challenge the suspension. The suspension will hit your license 46 days after you were arrested. The earlier your attorney files a challenge to the suspension, the more likely you are going to be able to lift that suspension. There are limited grounds for lifting the statutory summary suspension so it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the issues at this type of hearing. It is separate and distinct from the issues in the criminal DUI charge, though there is often some similarity.