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The penalties for a conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, differ from one state to another. With that noted, there are some common elements in DUI penalties that are found from coast-to-coast in the United States.
First and foremost, DUI penalties are nearly always geared in a progressive manner. By that it is meant that the possible penalties imposed upon conviction of a first time DUI will be less than what is possible in a second and subsequent conviction for this crime. Indeed, sometimes the penalties increase significantly in their severity level after an initial conviction of DUI.
Second, upon a conviction for DUI, particular after a first one, an individual is likely to face jail time. A jail sentence will be lengthier is an individual racks up multiple DUI convictions. Keep in mind that in some states a third or higher DUI conviction may be classified as a felony. A felony conviction can result in not just a jail sentence, but a term of incarceration in a state prison.
Third, upon conviction of DUI, an individual is likely to face a monetary penalty. The amount assessed in fines also increases after an initial DUI conviction. Fines associated with a DUI conviction can prove to be significant – which is why you need a criminal defense attorney.
Fourth, states have various requirements associated with DUI convictions for alcohol education classes, as well as for treatment. Once again, the type of intervention of this nature that may be imposed as part of a DUI sentence depends on a defendant’s prior history as far as driving under the influence is concerned.
Finally, when it comes to a DUI charge, not even a conviction, an individual is likely to face action taken against his or her driver’s license. This administrative action is separate from and in addition to anything that might happen in a criminal prosecution for driving under the influence. Typically, this involves a suspension of a person’s driver’s license for a set period of time. As noted, this administrative process typically commences directly after a DUI stop and arrest has occurred ad does not require a conviction in the criminal proceeding.