How a DUI Can Affect Your Life

Getting arrested for driving under the influence(DUI) is always a stressful experience. If you then face criminal charges, you may be concerned about the court-imposed penalties if you’re convicted, which can be serious. However, many people fail to realize that a DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences that persist well after any court-ordered sentence has ended. It is critical to have the right criminal defense lawyer handling your case who can help to minimize the effects of a DUI on your life whenever possible.

DUI Sentences in North Dakota

A DUI conviction comes with different criminal penalties, largely depending on two factors – your reported blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you have any prior convictions. The following are some of the possible penalties for a first-time DUI conviction under North Dakota law:

  • $500 fine if your BAC was below 0.16 percent
  • $750 fine and two days in jail if your BAC was over 0.16 percent
  • Alcohol or drug addiction evaluation
  • Driver’s license suspension for 91 days if your BAC was below 0.18 percent
  • Driver’s license suspension for 180 days if your BAC was over 0.18 percent 

If you had a minor in the car with you, you may face a $2,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Penalties may also increase if you refused a breathalyzer test or if you caused injuries in a DUI-related accident. Sentences become significantly more serious with each subsequent DUI conviction.

Long-term DUI Consequences

A DUI conviction also means that you will have a criminal record. Even though a first-time DUI is a Class B misdemeanor, having any record at all can impact your life in many ways, including:

  • Disqualify you from jobs that require a clean driving record or clean criminal background
  • Disqualify you from having or difficulty obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Make it difficult to qualify for professional licenses or advanced educational programs
  • Jeopardize an existing professional license or security clearance
  • Make it more difficult to rent housing or qualify for public benefits
  • Cause issues getting insurance
  • Make it more difficult to enter Canada

Even though a court-imposed fine can be costly, the financial effects of a DUI conviction can continue if you lose your job or professional license, have trouble finding a new job in your field, or become ineligible for programs required for your chosen career path.

Many people fail to consider the possible effects of a DUI conviction for years to come. You should never rush into pleading guilty to a DUI just to get a case over with. Instead, take the time to consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. 

Contact a Fargo Criminal Defense Law Firm for Assistance Today

Criminal defense attorney Tatum O’Brien works to minimize or eliminate the lasting consequences of a criminal conviction for every client. If you’ve been arrested, please do not wait to consult with O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. Contact our firm online or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) to learn more about how we can help you.

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