Being arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) even for the first time is a very serious offense. It would be best if you did not assume that the law will be lenient to first-time offenders. In most states, a first-time DUI is categorized as a misdemeanor, and both the short-term and long-term consequences remain serious. The article below will help you understand what happens when you are arrested for a DUI for the first time. If you have been arrested for an OWI or DUI in Indiana, call an Indiana OWI attorney at (317) 676-4747.
Next Steps After A DUI Arrest
Like any other crime, once you are arrested by law enforcement or traffic police, you are taken to the nearest police station after your arrest. Your fingerprints are taken, and you are generally allowed bail and immediately released after paying your bail. Here are the steps that typically follow:
- Appearing in court. During your arrest, the law enforcers will give you a ticket or a summon that will inform you of the date that you should appear in court to face your DUI charges. During the set date, you choose to plead guilty or not guilty to the DUI charges. In this court session, evidence and police report during your arrest are presented to the judge by the prosecutor.
- Losing your driver’s license. For first-time conviction in all states, your sentence will include suspension of your driver’s license for a period. Some states automatically suspend your driver’s license once you refuse to take a field sobriety test or submit to a blood test.
- Pay fines. If you are convicted of DUI, paying fines will probably be part of your sentence. There are laws in each state that sets the minimum and maximum fines for DUI. However, these penalties can be changed according to circumstances. For instance, if someone was injured, a child was injured, or property was damaged as a result of DUI, then these fines can be increased. Moreover, you pay the court costs in most states.
- Serving probation. You will get a probation sentence even if you do not get a jail time sentence during your DUI conviction. The judge determines the terms of the probation sentence and you will be jailed if you fail to meet these terms. A probation sentence is an expense that you will pay. Mostly this is a monthly fee that you will pay for supervising and administering your probated sentence.
- Undergoing an alcohol evaluation. You must complete an alcohol education and assessment program to have your driving privileges returned after a DUI conviction in all jurisdictions. A trained counselor evaluates your alcohol consumption pattern and determines whether you have an alcohol-related disorder.
- Paying for Auto Insurance. If convicted of DUI, you will need to have a special insurance policy. This policy is known as SR-22 insurance. You might not drive a vehicle without this policy in many states, and it is double or triple your insurance premiums. The law requires you to have this policy for three years.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device. Many states are recommending drivers convicted of DUI charges to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Some states are requiring this even for first-time offenders. This device requires a driver to have an alcohol-free breath result before the car starts. There are monthly installation costs for this device, and they are costly.
Mental Evaluation After DUI Arrest
Many mental issues are associated with DUI. Therefore, it is important to visit a counselor or take the time to evaluate why this happened. There are many mental illnesses that DUI convicts have been diagnosed with having. These mental illnesses include major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTSD), and alcohol disorder. There is no shame in seeking professional help to help you quit or cut back on drinking.
Arrested For DUI? Contact An Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI and you’re wondering, what’s next, the first step to take once is to find an experienced DUI attorney at (317) 676-4747 or contact us. They will help you get the fair representation you deserve that will result in minimal penalties or reduced sentences.