Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Don’t let your first DUI offense take away your livelihood.

Getting a DUI is seriously risky business, but you don’t need to be told that. You know you made a mistake, but now you do have to face the consequences, which can be pretty life-altering.

Today, we’re going to discuss 6 DUI defense moves that can help you navigate this complicated and, to be quite frank, scary process. If you’ve got the right lawyer in place, you’ll be able to put this behind you and focus on getting help to prevent it from happening again.

1. How Severe Is Your DUI?

A lot of how this process plays out will depend on the severity of your DUI. When you blow over at a routine traffic stop, the consequences are less severe than if you’re in an accident that causes one of the party’s bodily harm.

This might mean that you’ll either have to pay a small fine (in the case of the traffic stop) or possibly even do some jail time (in the case of a serious accident). Because it’s your first offense, it’ll most likely be treated as a misdemeanor.

2. Fines

Fines will range from anywhere between $500 to $2,000 for a first-time DUI offender. In most of these cases, you’ll have roughly one year to pay off the debt, or if you’re in a financially strained position, a judge will often let you pay off your debts through community service.

3. Jail Time

In some states, jail time for a misdemeanor DUI is common. For a first time DUI, it might only be 48-hours, or so. Any injuries or potential harm caused to other drivers means that this fee goes up. Similarly, if your blood-alcohol level is up in the 0.20% (or greater) range, you can expect a more serious punishment.

Do some research to find out more about the basics of DUI charges in different states.

4. How a Misdemeanor Can Become a Felony

You’ll be staring down the barrel of much larger fines and much more jail time if certain extenuating circumstances present themselves.

  • If you’re driving erratically, or even cause an accident, your offense could be elevated.
  • When there are children in the car, you’ll almost certainly be looking at a felony charge.
  • Open containers of liquor in the vehicle when you’ve been pulled over will result in larger fines and jail sentences.

5. Speaking to Attorneys

You can fight to have charges reduced if you feel that there’s been some confusion or if you feel that there were breaches in protocol when the incident occurred. In this case, you should always seek out legal help from a DUI attorney.

Make sure that you’re getting an attorney that specializes in cases like these because they’ll know how best to fight to reduce your sentence or fine.

6. Posting Bail

Being thrown in jail for a DUI is an anomaly in some states, but in others, it’s quite common. If you find yourself in jail, you can post bail and properly prepare for your trial. You’ll want to find a lawyer first, but after that, you’ll likely want to come up with the bail money.

Unless you can come up with the cash yourself or have a family member that can help you, you may need to contact a bail bondsman.

Making the Right DUI Defense Moves

To make the right DUI defense moves, you need to know what your charges are. If it’s a misdemeanor, you can probably get away with paying a fine, dealing with the DMV, and posting bail. When it’s more serious, you’ll need to discuss your specific case with a lawyer in order to make the right moves.

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