A drunk driving arrest is scary, especially for someone who has never been in trouble with the law or gotten a DUI before. If it is your first drunk driving offense, you may be confused as to what you are up against, but you would be wise to take your situation seriously. There are serious penalties associated with a conviction for a first-time DUI.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, you have the right to defend yourself, no matter what is in your criminal history. A guilty plea or conviction is never your only option, and you would be wise not to face your current situation without the help of an experienced Pennsylvania defense attorney.
Potential penalties for a first-time conviction
It is important to take your legal situation seriously, whether it is your first offense or you have multiple DUIs on your criminal record. A general impairment first-time offense may not seem like a big deal, but it can result in penalties that may include:
- Up to six months of probation
- $300 fine
- Alcohol highway safety school
- Treatment, if ordered by the judge
While they may not seem like a big deal initially, any of these penalties has the potential to have a serious impact on your life. In addition to the administrative and financial consequences of a first-time DUI, there are other ways that this could affect your life, such as:
- Loss of scholarships and educational opportunities
- Impact on a pending child custody hearing
- Potential impact on future career opportunities
- Serious effect on your current job
These consequences can reach into and affect almost every area of your life. Fighting back against a first-time DUI will not only help you avoid the immediate penalties of a conviction, it can protect your future interests as well.
Experience counts when much is at stake
If you find yourself facing charges of DUI for the first time, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. From challenging the evidence against you to fighting for lesser charges, the right approach for you will depend on the unique circumstances of your individual case.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to DUI defense. For a first-time offender, one of the most important first steps is to reach out to an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. A complete evaluation of your case will reveal the most appropriate defense strategy for your situation.