Is A DUI Added To Your Criminal Record?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense that comes with penalties and other consequences.
Most states consider a person to be legally impaired when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. You can be arrested for suspicion of drunk driving if you exhibit signs of inebriation, such as slow reaction time, slurred speech, poor muscle coordination, weaving in and out of lanes, and excessive braking or slow acceleration.
A DUI will appear on your driving record and criminal record and will show up in background checks in most states. If you are visiting or moving to another state and get a subsequent DUI within ten years, then the prior DUIs will show up and be taken into consideration when determining your charges later on. Law Ninja, a firm that provides legal representation in California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington, advises that whether you’re a first-time DUI offender or if you have prior convictions on your record, then you should reach out to a criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights and your future. To learn more about DUI defense, go to their website now.
Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony?
In the majority of states, first and second DUI convictions are charged as misdemeanors. The maximum jail time for a misdemeanor is one year or less, and fines are usually capped at $1,000, though court fees and other costs may increase how much you end up paying. With a misdemeanor, your license can be suspended from a few months to a year, and you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Your DUI can be upgraded to a felony based on how many prior convictions you have if you caused an accident that injured anyone or caused property damage, if your BAC was over 0.15%, or if there was a minor in the car. However, the most common reason why a DUI is charged as a felony is having two or more prior DUI convictions.
How A Criminal Record Affects Your Life
A criminal record, even without a conviction, impacts your life in many ways. When you try to find a job, your prospective employers may not hire you based on what they find in your background check. If you are in the middle of a divorce and child custody proceedings, you could lose your child custody rights. If you are trying to further your education at a college or university or have a dependent who is going to college, a criminal record may affect your ability to take out student loans or affect your scholarship eligibility. You could lose certain professional licenses, not be allowed to adopt a child, and may be denied a license to carry a firearm. An existing criminal record leads to more severe penalties in subsequent crimes if you are convicted and sentenced.
You may also lose your right to drive. A license suspension can impact every aspect of your life, from your ability to drive to work, school, or medical appointments to your ability to simply go to the store and buy groceries. Some states offer hardship licenses that do not restore full driving privileges but can be issued after your driver’s license has been suspended to allow you to drive on a limited basis. In some states, you need to prove enrollment in a state-approved drug education course before you can be issued a hardship license.
Have A Criminal Defense Attorney On Your Side
When you have been arrested for a DUI, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney who will provide strategic defense if you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges. You don’t have to face the complex legal process alone. Your future is unknown, but when you hire a criminal defense attorney, you can get the best possible outcome.