Although arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) have decreased significantly in the past couple of decades, they still occur on a regular basis – and often to otherwise law-abiding citizens. If you are one of those law-abiding citizens and you find yourself sitting in jail facing charges for driving under the influence, your initial reaction may be that you want to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. That may cause you to accept a guilty plea agreement without even considering the possibility of launching a defense. A Nebraska DUI attorney explains why you shouldn’t jump at the first plea agreement offered to you and offers five reasons why you should fight a DUI conviction.
- A conviction is expensive. One of the most common reasons people give for not hiring a criminal defense attorney when they are facing DUI charges is that an attorney is expensive. What they are not factoring into their calculations, however, is how much money they will likely spend without an attorney. The costs associated with a DUI conviction are numerous and add up quickly. Before you even leave the courthouse you will be ordered to pay court costs and fines that can easily top $1000. Then you will have supervision fees while on probation as well as fees for things such as drug screens. Your car insurance will increase – often more than double – for the next three to five years, on average and you may be responsible for paying for the cost of an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. By the time all is said and done, a DUI conviction will almost always cost you more than hiring an attorney to fight that conviction.
- Probation is more difficult than you realize. The guilty plea agreement that the prosecuting attorney offers you will almost surely include a lengthy term of probation. Since you are an otherwise law-abiding citizen, you may think probation is no big deal. What you don’t realize is how restrictive and intrusive it can be. You will be required to report in person once a month at your officer’s convenience. No leaving the state without permission. No consuming alcohol. Your driving will be monitored. You will have to submit to random drug screens –also at the convenience of the probation department. All in all, probation can be difficult for even the most responsible, well-intentioned people to complete successfully.
- A conviction may disqualify you for future employment opportunities. A DUI conviction will be on your criminal record forever – and it may disqualify you for future employment and/or subject you to disciplinary action at your current job. Moreover, a job doesn’t even need to involve operating a vehicle for a DUI to be an automatic disqualification. Jobs involving children or vulnerable adults, for example, may disqualify you simply because you have a criminal conviction without regard to the actual crime.
- If you have children, a DUI conviction could be used to limit your parenting time. Sadly, custody of minor children is something that is frequently contested by parents during, or after, a divorce. The same is true for parenting time (once referred to as “visitation”). If you have minor children, the other parent could use a DUI conviction against you by arguing that you have an alcohol problem and/or that the children should not be in the vehicle with you.
- A conviction is not a foregone conclusion. The most important reason, however, to fight a DUI conviction is that you may actually be able to avoid that conviction. While the state may make it sound as if a conviction is a foregone conclusion, it rarely is. On the contrary, there are often viable defenses that could work to help a defendant avoid a conviction altogether. You won’t know if your conviction can be avoided unless you discuss the details of your case with an experienced DUI attorney.
Contact a Nebraska DUI Attorney at Petersen Law Office
If you have been arrested for DUI in the State of Nebraska, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney immediately about the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Contact a Nebraska DUI defense attorney at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case.