If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, you’re surely wondering about the specific consequences that you might face. The legal penalties for your charge will depend on several factors, and learning everything that you can to keep your rights protected will definitely be to your benefit. Here are some of the main factors that will affect your DWI case.
Your Blood Alcohol Level
At the time when you were pulled over by the police, you should have been given a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol level. Most jurisdictions consider anyone who has a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater to be intoxicated, but the laws in your state or city may have a lower limit. You’ll likely face more serious charges if your blood alcohol level is considerably over the legal limit.
The Attorney Who You Hire
Choosing the right attorney can make the difference in the severity of your charges. A qualified DWI attorney can advise you while you’re in jail or out on bail so that you’ll be able to proceed through your court hearing with knowledge that can help you in your case. The attorney who you hire can also present an argument before a judge that will help you get a more lenient sentence or have your charges dismissed entirely.
Whether or Not a Crash Occurred
If you caused an accident because of your drinking, you’ll likely face stiffer legal penalties than if you were pulled over by the police while driving and considered to be intoxicated. This may be especially true if you crashed into another vehicle or damaged some else’s property during the incident. You could face even more legal liabilities from the insurance companies and the other people who were involved in the accident if a crash occurred.
Any Injuries That Were Sustained
You should also expect to receive a harsher sentence if you were in an accident that caused bodily injuries to others. The person or people who were injured might sue you personally and try to press additional criminal charges against you. If the crash resulted in another person’s death, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Knowing the factors that could affect your sentencing and other legal penalties can help you prepare better for court with your attorney. Knowing what the expected outcome might be can give you additional peace of mind and will help you plan your life accordingly for the upcoming future.
Author information: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.