What is a DUI?
DUI stands for driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol). If a person’s blood alcohol concentration level, or BAC, is greater than .08%, that person will be arrested and charged with a DUI, and you need a DUI Lawyer Near Me. Suppose a person’s BAC level is below .08%. In that case, that person may still be arrested and charged with a DUI if the officer feels they are displaying signs or behavior consistent with impairment or failing sobriety tests (i.e., walking in a straight line).
A conviction for driving under the influence can have serious consequences, including the potential for a life-long criminal record. Misdemeanor First-Offense or Second-Offense convictions come with losing your driver’s license, expensive fines, required class attendance, and the potential for forty-eight hours to two weeks of jail time. Felony Third-Offense and Fourth-Offense convictions have additional penalties, including prison time. It is essential to consult with experienced counsel to determine whether there is potential to avoid a conviction.
A first-offense DUI in Mississippi is a misdemeanor offense. One may be required to spend forty-eight hours in jail and pay the fines (between $250 and $1,000). First-time offenders will be required to attend and complete a state-approved alcohol safety education program successfully. A first refusal will result in a ninety-day license suspension. An ignition interlock will be required for up to 6 months following the required thirty-day suspension period.
A second-offense DUI in Mississippi is a misdemeanor offense and means that you have previously been convicted of a first-offense DUI within the past five-year period. If one is convicted of a second offense, they will have to spend a minimum of five days in jail to a maximum of one year in jail. The fines will be between $600 and $1,500 plus court fees.
Third and Fourth DUI Offense
A third or fourth DUI offense in Mississippi is a felony offense. If convicted of a third or fourth offense, the jail time minimum is one year to a maximum of five years. If there were severe injuries or death that resulted from one’s DUI, then prison time will be the punishment instead of jail time. The fine for a third or fourth offense ranges between $2,000 and $5,000 plus court costs.
The Law and Your Rights
If a person is stopped on suspicion of DUI in Mississippi, they have every right to refuse sobriety tests without any actions against them. However, if an officer requests a chemical test, a person is required by law to cooperate. If one refuses the chemical test, the officer must inform the potential penalties for refusal and make the request a second time per Mississippi code section 63-11-23. Whether one submits to a chemical test and fails or refuses to submit to a chemical test, one is violating Mississippi’s implied consent law. When someone applies for and accepts a license in Mississippi, they agree to the terms set forth by the state regarding its implied consent law. If one fails or refuses a chemical test, the arresting officer will confiscate and suspend the driver’s license for a minimum of ninety days and issue a statutory summary suspension. One must read the statutory summary suspension very carefully and understand it fully. One will receive a temporary permit which will allow one to drive up until the DUI criminal trial.
DUI Lawyer Near Me
DUI charges are serious and can have lasting consequences. If you are facing DUI charges, it is essential to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. Marc Boutwell is a DUI attorney with experience handling DUI cases in Mississippi. He can help you navigate the legal process and fight for your rights. Contact Marc today, a DUI Lawyer Near Me, to learn more about how he can help you. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!