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What is at stake if you are charged with a DUI?

| Feb 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense, DWI

Driving drunk is a mistake that just about anyone could make. And anyone could find themselves stopped on the side of the road, from a teenager driving home after a party to a grandparent who takes medication that interacts poorly with alcohol.

No matter who you are, you can have a lot more at stake than you realize if you wind up charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania.

Legal penalties

A conviction for drunk driving can have a range of criminal penalties depending on the details of your stop, whether you have a previous DUI and your level of intoxication.

You could wind up with:

  • A felony or misdemeanor offense on your record
  • Jail time or a prison sentence
  • Court orders to undergo evaluation or treatment

Further, parties may have to attend multiple hearings, which can be disruptive and frustrating.

Financial penalties

A DUI results in a fine of at least $300. This number can increase to $10,000 if a person has a very high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and is a repeat offender.

In addition to fines, parties may have to pay for legal services, ignition interlock installation and increased insurance premiums.

Professional consequences

If you lose your license because of a DUI, you may not be able to get to work easily or perform necessary functions of your job, like driving to a sales call. And having a criminal record can be embarrassing and damage your reputation.

Your employment could also be in jeopardy if you need to be gone for court hearings, treatment or incarceration. Too often, people lose their jobs because they cannot juggle it all.

Personal toll

A DUI can affect your personal life in a host of ways. In some cases, relationships break due to the stress and strain of facing criminal charges. And a drunk driving offense can change the way your kids, parents or friends look at you.

Considering the myriad ways a DUI can affect someone’s life, avoiding a conviction can be critical. Not only does it protect your criminal record, but it can also shield you from struggling against these additional consequences. For more information on protecting yourself, you can call to discuss your options with the attorneys at The Quinn Law Firm.