Nearly 1.5 million people are arrested each year in the United States for driving under the influence. Earning a DUI conviction is a serious legal matter and can have a lot of potential ramifications, many that last for years to come. Here's a look at the three longest lasting legal consequences of being convicted of a DUI, and how long each one may last.
Driver's license revocation: 90 days to life
Losing their driver's license is the first thing many people think of if they are potentially facing a DUI conviction. In most states, a first time DUI offense will lead to a six month to one year revocation of your drivers license (but some states are as low as 90 days for a first offense). Repeat offenses can lead to two year or even permanent suspensions. Of course, not having a license makes it difficult to get to work and will likely cause you to lose your job if it involves driving. Not having the freedom to simply drive where you want is also stressful, as it means you'll miss out on running simple errands, family events, and more.
Background checks: 3 to 12 years
Again, depending on the state you live in and exactly what type of background check is being conducted, a DUI will haunt you for anywhere from 3 to 12 years. A DUI will show up on a general background check that employers use, and there's a good chance it will impact your ability to get a job. When your driving record is pulled, a DUI will impact your chances of getting a job that involves driving.
Prison time: Probation to many years
In most instances, a first-time DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor and doesn't mean jail time. But repeat offenders will almost certainly face jail time, and enough repeat offenses will escalate the charges to a felony. Depending on the person's blood alcohol content, it's actually possible for a first-time DUI offense to mean jail time. Some state do have mandatory jail time for a DUI.
If you're facing a DUI conviction, you're going to want some legal help on your side. Having a criminal defense attorney like H Edward Andrews III to help you navigate this period could mean a world of difference in what ramifications you face. A criminal defense attorney also has the knowledge and can put you in touch with the right people to help you make sure this never happens again.