Most of our clients who are charged with a DUI first offense don’t know what the possible consequences are.
If convicted, a DUI first offense will involve a criminal penalty and a license suspension.
The criminal penalty sounds genuinely frightening: If you are convicted, you face a maximum of a DUI first offense “may be fined not more than $750.00, or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.” 23 V.S.A. 2010(b).
But there are two things to consider. First, your case may have a defense. DUI is not as clear cut as you might think, and often times there are defenses to the allegation that may not appear to the untrained eye. Second, if there are no aggravating factors to the DUI first offense, your lawyer can likely work out an agreement where no jail time is served at all.
The license suspension for a DUI first offense is 90 days and until the defendant completes the “Project CRASH” course. HOWEVER, this suspension period can be reduced to 30 days if you consent to a “ignition interlock” on your car. This is a device that requires the driver to give a breath sample before the car will start. If no alcohol is detected, the device will allow the ignition to engage and you can drive.
Please see our other pages to see what kind of issues we look for in defending you in DUI cases.