Driving under the influence is a serious offense, even if you are being charged for the first time. To be guilty of DUI, a person must “operate a motor vehicle” in a “public place” while “intoxicated.” Though getting a DUI is life altering, it is not the end of the world. If you have recently been arrested for a DUI, there are several steps that need to be taken in order to get your life back on track. The necessary steps are:
- Seek legal counsel immediately: It is important to fully understand the laws in your state when it comes to DUI’s and hiring a qualified attorney who has had experience dealing with them can be all the difference in getting your license reinstated
- Report to Court: it should go without saying, appearing to Court on your court date is extremely important. It is not optional.
- Carry out your punishment in full: Punishments can include: fines, classes probation, license revoking or restriction and/or possibly jail time
- Carry the correct insurance: Insurance companies often terminate policies after DUIs so you must regain coverage as well as filling out and filing a SR-22 document. You must carry this document and your insurance with you for a minimum of 3 years
- Attempt to get your license back: If punishment is carried out in full and insurance coverage is regained, there is a possibility of license reinstatement. After a DUI, licenses may be temporary or have restrictions such as you may only drive to and from work, etc.
These steps are completely necessary and must be taken whether or not your end goal is to get your license reinstated.
Another thing to consider after getting a DUI is how much it is going to cost you, so planning for the cost correctly is important. In the state of Texas, the average cost for your first DUI offense ranges from $9,102 to $11,502. However, every state has a different average cost, so doing research can help you plan for this financial burden accurately. OneDUI’s website has an excellent list of average DUI costs for US each state.
Type of Charge
Something else to consider is the type of charge your DUI is. In Texas, your first DUI is a Class-B Misdemeanor if there is not a child passenger present. If it is your second DUI you will be charged with a Class-A Misdemeanor. Your third DUI will be charged as a felony. If there is a child passenger present in the vehicle, the DUI will also be charged as a felony, even if it is your first offense. Also,the motor vehicle in question does not have to be a car in order to get a DUI. There have been cases of DUIs being given to those driving golf cart drivers and go-carts before, so driving under the influence is taken extremely seriously. The type of vehicle may also contribute to the type of charge and cost of the DUI. An experienced attorney can help break this down further if any other questions arise.
Though DUIs are taken seriously, no attorney is going to judge you over the whole ordeal. They are here to help. Attorney George R. Terra is an experienced in criminal defense and can answer any further questions about your recent DUI. Contact his office to make an appointment for a free 15-20 consultation.