When it comes to traffic stops, signs of intoxication are one of the things police officers look for first. These offenses are heavily policed and aggressively prosecuted to the point that innocent people are often falsely accused. Thankfully, any person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) has the right to the guidance of a dedicated defense attorney.
The consequences of a DUI could follow you for months or years after your conviction. Fortunately, a Junction City DUI lawyer could help you defend yourself against these allegations and fight back against the consequences that come with a conviction.
Types of DUI Charges
There are two different ways a prosecutor could obtain a guilty verdict in a DUI trial. It is up to the state to determine which approach they use. The most common of the two is known as “per se” DUI. To prove guilt, the state must show that a driver operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. Many DUI cases are built on little more than a blood, breath, or urine test that reflects a BAC above the legal limit.
This type of prosecution is not always an option for the state. In some cases, the driver might be unwilling or unable to give a sample for analysis. In other cases, a driver could allegedly be under the influence of a substance other than alcohol. These substances will not appear on a standard BAC test. In these situations, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was unable to operate their vehicle safely due to intoxication by drugs or alcohol. A reliable attorney in Junction City could develop a strong defense against either type of DUI case.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
The penalties associated with a DUI case depend on the number of prior convictions a person has. A DUI attorney in Junction City could advocate for a driver regardless of their prior conviction record.
First-time offenders face the lightest penalties for a DUI conviction. These misdemeanors bring a maximum of six months imprisonment and a fine of no more than $1,000. The court has the ability to replace jail time with community service.
A second-offense DUI is treated as a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction requires a jail sentence between 90 days and one year, but the court has the power to grant probation after a person serves a mandatory five days behind bars.
The penalty for third-offense DUIs varies. If a person has a DUI in the previous ten years, it is treated as a felony. Otherwise, a third offense is a misdemeanor. Either charge carries between 90 days and one year in jail.
The fourth DUI in a lifetime is always considered a felony under state law. It carries a minimum jail term of 90 days and a maximum sentence of one year. After 72 hours of incarceration, the court could grant work release.
Fifth and Subsequent Offenses
A fifth or subsequent conviction for DUI in Junction City is always treated as a felony under the law. In these cases, a conviction could lead to between 90 days and one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Probation is not available until a person spends at least 90 days behind bars.
Talk to a Junction City DUI Attorney Today
Being convicted of driving under the influence has the potential to alter your life forever. Even if you avoid jail time, the stigma and other consequences of a conviction could be problematic forever.
Thankfully, you can fight back against these charges. Contact a Junction City DUI lawyer immediately to learn about your defense options.