Drunk Driving Cases and Public Records
By: Mary Ann Pekara
Drunk driving is considered a serious crime. So when a person is convicted of such an offense, the incident is put on this individual's public criminal record and may remain there long after the initial penalties are paid.
Public records, including drunk driving offenses, can be accessed by anyone, including potential employers and insurance companies. Police, of course, can access previous charges. In fact, a prior record of drunk driving may result in stronger penalties and more serious charges if you are arrested for DUI again.
Negative Consequences of DUI on Public Record
A DUI charge or conviction can have a very negative effect on a person’s record. It may make securing a job or renting an apartment much more difficult. A potential employer might find out about an applicant’s DUI conviction, for instance, after doing a background check.
An individual arrested or convicted of a previous DUI may also endure much higher premiums on insurance policies. Additionally, people who rely on a valid driver’s license for employment could find their driving privileges suspended or revoked by the court system. Hefty fines might be required for the license to be reinstated.
Furthermore, a DUI conviction may erase any future hope of attaining a position that includes driving as part of the responsibilities. In many states, with drunk driving arrest on your record you may not be able to obtain or keep a commercial driver's license.
How DUI Arrests May Affect Future Penalties
Most states have strict DUI laws that take previous convictions into account. Depending on the state’s laws, two or more DUI arrests on a person’s record may raise a DUI charge to a felony.
If convicted of a DUI felony, this individual could face up to more than a year of jail time in addition to any other charges that might be involved in the crime.
In addition, multiple DUI arrests typically result in longer jail sentences, higher fines and longer driver's license suspensions. In some cases, multiple DUI arrests on your record may result in prison time or car repossession.
Protect Your Record: Speak with a DUI Attorney
It may be difficult to clear your record once it has a drunk driving conviction. That's why many people choose to fight their charges with the help of a local DUI lawyer. A lawyer may help you build a defense, challenge the evidence against you and fight to keep your record clean.