If you have been charged with DUI, it can be natural to feel helpless and hopeless. It is normal to feel confused too, especially if you did not realize that some people can get legally intoxicated in an hour or less on just two drinks. Also, officials may be saying things like, “Your BAC was over 0.08. Case closed.”
However, a DUI charge does not necessarily need to result in a conviction. One key is to enlist the help of an advocate as soon as possible. This person can challenge the circumstances of the arrest and the reliability of the breath/blood test, among other things. For example, maybe law enforcement mishandled your test.
Are there aggravating circumstances?
Many DUI arrests just have alcohol in the picture. However, if there are aggravating circumstances, it is even more important to ensure that your charge does not turn into a conviction. Examples of such circumstances include causing injuries, driving with a child in the car or driving with an alleged BAC of at least 0.15. The penalties for a DUI conviction tend to be more serious when there are aggravating circumstances. The mere presence of these circumstances can also make conviction more likely in some cases.
A conviction does matter
But does DUI conviction really matter? The answer is yes. Some people believe that a DUI is just a bit more problematic than a parking ticket is. The reality is that a DUI conviction has the potential to affect your employment and salary prospects for life. It affects your ability to get around and can strain your relationships (for example, if you share custody of your children, your ex may try to get primary custody).
There are many ways in which a DUI arrest can be flawed, from the driver getting pulled over wrongly to a miscalibrated Breathalyzer. A lawyer can break down these issues and advocate for you.