One of the first things that a person arrested on a DUI charge wants to know is whether or not they will be spending time in jail. Assuming that you bail yourself out following your arrest, there are some things that you can do to minimize the potential of jail time for your DUI charges. Staying out of jail will help you keep your job and avoid the trauma of being locked up in a detention facility.
1. Hire an Attorney
The most important thing that you can do if you want to avoid spending time in jail for your DUI charges is to hire an experienced attorney. The laws that govern driving under the influence are clear, but a judge has a significant amount of discretion when it comes to sentencing.
Attorneys who have successfully represented clients charged with a DUI will know how to work with the judge to get him or her to agree to avoid jail time as part of your sentence (should you be found guilty).
An attorney can also advise you of your rights throughout the legal process to ensure you fully understand all of the options available to you when it comes to handling your DUI charges.
2. Identify Mitigating Factors
Presenting evidence that mitigates your charges can be critical if you want to avoid serving jail time for a DUI conviction. Your attorney will be able to help you examine the facts of your case to determine if any mitigating circumstances exist.
Some common mitigating factors used to argue against jail time can include a lack of criminal history, how far over the legal limit your blood alcohol content was when you were arrested, and your willingness to complete alcohol counseling or community service.
3. Ensure Evidence Legality
Another reason you need to have an attorney by your side when fighting a DUI charge is to ensure that only evidence gathered legally is allowed to be submitted to the court.
The officer who arrested you must have a valid reason for pulling you over in the first place. If this reasoning can be challenged, then your attorney can have any breathalyzer or blood test used to justify your arrest thrown out.
This will help significantly in eliminating the possibility of you spending time behind bars. A good attorney can even mount a defense strategy that will end up in your case being dismissed. If you've been arrested for a DUI, then contact a DUI lawyer to help you with your case.