DUI 101: Misdemeanor Charge for DUI
By: Mike Stetzer
Drunk driving arrests could potentially result in either misdemeanor or felony DUI charges. Typically, a person receives a DUI misdemeanor for their first, second or third DUI offense. Felony charges typically result after a person's third DUI offense or if they were involved in a car accident that caused bodily injury or property damage.
Penalties for DUI misdemeanors are generally lesser than felony DUI penalties, but DUI penalties vary state-by-state. The severity of the charges usually depend on whether a person has had any prior DUI misdemeanor charges, and include:
- monetary fines;
- mandatory alcohol counseling;
- license suspension and/or restricted driving privileges; and
- jail time.
Protect Yourself and Know DUI Law
All 50 states define DUI as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance with blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent.
However, it's possible to be convicted of a DUI charge with a BAC below the legal limit. For example, if you're driving a commercial vehicle, showing other signs of impairment or under the legal drinking age, you may be charged with DUI even if your BAC is lower than 0.08 percent.
It's Possible to Beat a DUI Misdemeanor Charge
Don't give up! Just because you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will be convicted of a DUI misdemeanor. A DUI attorney can determine if possible challenges may help you beat your DUI misdemeanor charge.
Some potential ways to beat your DUI misdemeanor charge may include challenging your DUI arrest, BAC test, and challenging the police officer's questioning or testimony. Plea bargaining may also be an option.
Expungement of DUI Misdemeanors
In some states, when a certain amount of time has passed after your conviction, your DUI lawyer may be able to have your DUI misdemeanor conviction erased from your criminal record.
Expungement of your DUI misdemeanor can provide you with the most comprehensive, post-conviction legal relief. A DUI attorney can help you explore your options if you have been charged with a DUI misdemeanor.
If you are facing a DUI misdemeanor charge or looking to get your DUI misdemeanor expunged, connect with a local DUI lawyer by filing out our free online DUI case evaluation or by calling 1 (877) 349-1311 to schedule a free consultation.