If you or a loved one is facing charges for DUI offences, they are most certainly not alone. Around 1.5 million Americans are arrested for driving under the influence every single year, with all evidence suggesting that DUIs are on the rise almost everywhere in the country.
You might think that DUI law is straightforward, but this is rarely the case. In order to understand your rights and your options in a DUI case, you need to understand how criminal defense law relates to driving under the influence in America. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are several different types of DUI offenses that you can be charged with.
Each of these has drastically different consequences. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the different DUI offenses you could be facing.
1. Misdemeanor DUI Offenses
Misdemeanor DUI offenses are by far the most common form of DUI charge in America. They are also the ones with the lightest punishments, so to speak. Misdemeanor DUI is when you are found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or with drugs in your system, but you have not presented a serious danger to passenger or driver safety.
You might not be visibly intoxicated and you may be capable of driving safely, but you have broken the law. In this case, you are most likely to get a fine, although a few days in jail is not unheard of.
2. Aggravated/Felony DUI
This is a more serious form of DUI that can escalate quickly depending on the nature of the offense. Aggravated DUI describes DUI in which multiple laws are being broken at the same time. For example, you might be driving under the influence and also speeding, or you might have a child in the car with you.
Whatever the case, it is absolutely essential that you hire the best lawyer for felony DUI cases in your state, such as www.tprentisslaw.com for California residents. This could be the difference between a 6-month sentence or a 10-year sentence.
3. DUI Manslaughter
There is no getting around this one. DUI manslaughter, which is when a person dies as a result of your driving under the influence, is about as serious as it gets. This is a form of a second-degree felony that typically carries a 15-year prison sentence unless there are some pretty substantial extenuating circumstances. If you have been charged with DUI manslaughter, it is time to lawyer up.
4. Commercial DUI
Did you know the type of vehicle ownership involved will affect the outcome of your DUI? Commercial DUI offenses are a distinct category of offenses that are dealt with in a different way.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle under the influence, you are drinking on the job. You are also likely to be driving a heavy-duty vehicle, which increases the risk to the public and makes it more likely that your offense will be counted as aggravated.
Stay On Top of Legal Developments
Knowing the different types of DUI offenses can help you prepare for your case or the case of a loved one. For more essential updates on the justice system, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our Business and Lifestyle pages for up-to-date advice on the legal system.