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posted in Wilka, Welter & Ash LLP Law Blog.
First DUI Offenses- What to Expect
A person who has been pulled over and issued a first time DUI offense will likely have many questions. These questions can range from how the crime will affect one’s personal life, to what happens when the scheduled court date arrives. It can be overwhelming to think about what the future will look like. Guilt is a common feeling, DUI’s have the ability to hurt the driver and other drivers on the road. Admitting to the mistake and finding answers can help relieve some of the burden one is feeling.
First-time offenders likely want to know what penalties they will be facing under South Dakota law. While there is no minimum sentence required, a maximum of one year in jail is a possibility. This may be scary to think about. Jail time can affect family, employment, and finances. The driver also faces up to a two thousand dollar fine. A driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of thirty days, with exceptions considered for court orders and work. The judge may see a counseling program as an option for the offender and require the driver to attend.
A driver does have some rights when being stopped, for example, performing a field sobriety test can be declined. A chemical test, however, will be required under the implied consent law. The officer must inform the suspected driver of this law upon refusal and give them a second chance to consent to the testing. Refusal after being informed of the rights results in a one year or more license suspension. A chemical test can be administered in different forms, including a breath test and a blood test. The choice is up to the arresting officer.
Alcohol and Drugs
DUI and DWI are often confused for being solely alcohol related offenses. Drivers may feel they are safe from being prosecuted if the offense involves marijuana. This is not the case. For those who have been arrested in Sioux Falls for DUI involving drugs, a lawyer will be able to help go over the rights of the driver and decide the best way to handle the case. The same penalties apply as with alcohol related offenses. Controlled substances, even if prescribed, will fall under these laws as well.
When the day comes for the driver to go to court, it is best to have legal representation. Having an attorney can help keep the offender calm and prepared for this crucial day. While it will always be concerning, there is relief in knowing what to expect. The Sioux Falls lawyer will also be able to negotiate penalties and come up with the lowest punishment that suits the defendant while keeping state requirements in mind. It is most important for a driver to know these minimum requirements follow the advice of expert attorneys.