You may have to face jail time for driving under the influence. It depends on the specifics of your case. If you have been previously convicted for driving under the influence or causing injury or death to someone in a crash, the potential of getting jailed is increased. However, there are a lot of DUI convicts who do not face jail. To avoid prison, hire an efficient defense lawyer for your case. They can assess your charges and give a free consultation about what steps you should take.
Factors that affect jail time
You may be charged with driving under the influence, but the chances of imprisonment depend on the conditions of your case, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. The location of the arrest and your blood alcohol level is one of the leading factors that influence the outcome of your case. If you have caused harm to someone, it can elevate the potential of getting sentenced to jail.
Determination of imprisonment
The judge decides if the guilty driver will be sentenced and the duration of the sentence. A judge has the final discretion regarding substituting prison time with residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment programs. In some instances, these programs are counted in jail sentences. The judge may also deny the sentence if he deems it appropriate.
While deciding the imprisonment duration, the emphasis is laid on previous convictions.
- If the driver is convicted for the first time, they will face jail time of six months. If their blood alcohol levels are found to be 0.15 or above or a minor was involved in the accident, the imprisonment duration may be extended to 9 months.
- If the driver is convicted for the second time, their jail time will not be more than nine months. If their blood alcohol levels are around 0.15 or more or a minor was involved in the accident, the jail time will be extended to 12 months. If the driver gets convicted for the second time within five years of the previous one, he will be faced with a minimum jail time of at least ten days which is not up for modification. At least two out of them must be served consecutively.
- If the driver is convicted for the third time within a decade after the second conviction, he will be faced with mandatory jail time of a minimum of 30 days. At least two days out of them must be consecutive.
- If the driver is convicted of driving under the influence for the fourth time or more, he will face jail time for about five years or a sentence per the state statute for being a habitual or violent offender.