Once upon a time, an arrest and conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska was not something a defendant needed to be all that worried about because the penalties amounted to the proverbial “smack on the hand”. Often, the charges were reduced or dismissed altogether. When a conviction did actually occur, the punishment was not severe. Those says, however, are long gone, having been replaced by serious judicial penalties that can impact a defendants life for years to come. The consequences of a DUI conviction don’t stop at sentencing though. The non-judicial consequences of a Nebraska DUI conviction are often more worrisome than the actual sentence handed down by the judge. If you are facing charges for DUI in Nebraska you should know what those consequences may be.
Following a conviction for DUI in Nebraska you will be sentenced by a judge. The terms of your sentence will either be determined by a plea agreement entered into by you with the prosecutor or by the judge if you were found guilty at trial. The terms of your sentence are considered judicial penalties. Non-judicial penalties are things that occur as a result of your conviction but that are not part of your sentence and may include:
- Increased insurance rates – your auto insurance rates will likely increase significantly because you will now be considered a “high risk” driver. Some companies will even cancel your insurance. The increased rates will likely continue for several years.
- Professional discipline – if you hold a professional license (doctor, lawyer, real estate agent etc.) you may face disciplinary action up to, and including in some cases, the loss of your license. At a bare minimum you may be placed on probation and required to complete treatment and/or counseling in order to save your license.
- Driver license suspension – even if your actual sentence does not require a driver license suspension, your license may be administratively suspended or revoked by the appropriate state agency.
- Loss of employment – if your current job requires you to drive you could be terminated because you are now too expensive to insure.
- Ineligibility for employment – in today’s employment market even fast food restaurants routinely do background checks on prospective employees. A conviction for anything can be a bar to consideration for employment.
- Interference with visitation with minor children – if you are the parent of a minor child and you have visitation rights with your child a DUII conviction could interfere with your visitation schedule at best. At worst, the child’s other parent could make it an issue in a custody or visitation battle.
- Disqualification for scholarships/financial aid – many colleges check scholarship applicant’s criminal backgrounds and automatically disqualify anyone with a DUI record. Current scholarship recipients could have their aid revoked as well.
As you can see, the negative consequences of a DUI conviction do not end with your sentencing. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska you need to explore all potential avenues to avoiding a conviction. Contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.