Getting a DUI ticket is a very traumatizing experience, especially the first time it happens. The truth is there are a lot of people in your situation. Back in 2013, there were 6,419 arrests that dealt with alcohol. In 2015, there were about 5,686 DUI arrests. These numbers should not make you think that your situation is not serious. On the contrary, there is a lot that you need to consider. A good Austin DUI lawyer at http://www.tillmanbraniff.com/austin-dwi-lawyers/ understands this, which is the reason you are getting this crash course about DUIs. You will learn about the kinds of consequences you may be facing, as well as some answers to questions you may be wondering about.
You should understand some of the possible consequences you might face should you be found guilty of this crime. It is important to note that it is a common misconception that a DUI is only given to those who were caught drinking alcohol. Yes, those who are proven to be driving under the influence of alcohol will get charged, but it is not the only possibility. A driver can also be convicted for being under the influence of a prescription drug or even anesthesia (if he or she just came from the dentist). You can talk to a Austin DUI lawyer about other substances that you cannot consume while driving to be on the safe side.
The state is going to try to prove that, due to the medication or alcohol, you were not in control of normal mental and physical faculties. Or they will try to prove that the alcohol concentration in the blood was more than 0.08.
You could be looking at a fine of up to 2,000 dollars if found guilty, or you may receive jail time. You will not be going to prison, but you may end up in the county jail for 72 hours or up to six months. Of course, you might get sentenced for a minimum of six days in the county jail if it is proven that there was an open container in your vehicle. A judge will require mandated community service that could last for 24 to 100 hours. There may also be mandated probation for one to two years.
Keep in mind that those who are found to have other issues such as alcoholism (or prior problems with the law) could be facing additional consequences. One consequence is the installation of a deep lung air device in your vehicle. These devices require you to test your alcohol level before starting your vehicle. In fact, some devices are programmed to require periodic testing while you are driving. There is even a chance that the judge will order a ‘no alcohol’ mandate during your probation period. This means you will be required to take random urine tests at the probation office, just to ensure that you have not consumed any alcohol.
Most of these outcomes are highly likely, especially if you do not talk to your lawyer promptly to ensure the best representation possible during the entirety of your case.
DUI Lawyer Answers to Common Fears
One of the scariest things for drivers is the prospect of having their license taken away for any reason. The truth is this could happen under the right circumstances, like if this was your second offense. A lawyer might be able to help you get a restricted license that would allow you to drive to work or to school. Of course, there is a lengthy waiting period, and it is complicated to obtain this kind of license, so it is recommended that you let your lawyer deal with this for you.
Another fear that some people have is a police officer making them take Standardized Field Sobriety Tests or SFSTs. These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the walk, the heel-to-toe walk, and the one-leg stand. One should keep in mind that these particular tests are not a hundred percent accurate. There is a lot that has to be taken into account. For one, these tests can be severely affected by the weather conditions. The tests could also prove to be insufficient if you have certain medical conditions like obesity. In fact, having an inner-ear problem could also make a person fail these tests because inner-ear issues affect a person’s ability to balance him or herself correctly.
The officer who asks you to perform these tests should also be certified to properly administer these tests and be able to judge a person’s actions appropriately. Many times it is found that the officer was not fully certified or the certification was too old and no longer valid. Your lawyer will probably ask for the transcripts of the entire stop, including the tests. He or she will go over the entire procedure to ensure that the officer followed the guidelines perfectly.
The truth is not passing these tests does not prove that you were intoxicated at all. There is still a chance that the tests will be proven wrong using several techniques.
The same goes with blood tests or breath tests that might have been performed. The attorney can explore how these tests were administered to ensure there were no mistakes that could have influenced the results. There is also the possibility that the tools were defective, and these are just some of the options that your lawyer will have to deal with if you failed any of the tests.
You should definitely talk to a Austin DUI lawyer about any other questions you have regarding your particular case, but do not be afraid because he or she will do whatever is possible to help during this stressful time.