A DUI is a very worrisome charge, one that can have long and unforeseen effects on your life for some time to come. You may lose your job and find it difficult to secure a new one. And when it comes to housing, you may find it impossible to sign a lease on an apartment with a drug charge on your record. You may also lose social relationships, and if you are divorced and have visiting or custody privileges with your children, a DUI will put those at risk. All this, plus the fine, community service, points off your license, an increase in the cost of your insurance policy, and more. That is why it is important for you to reach out to some aggressive Denver DUI attorneys if you face a DUI charge. You need someone by your side who will fight for your rights and will not rest while trying to have those charges reduced or dismissed. For now, read on to find out how you might mitigate your DUI charges.
Take a Drunk Driver Education Course
In some states, if you have been charged with a DUI, completing some form of educational program can help you avoid jail time as well as more serious charges. During the course, you will learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body. While some states consider this course mandatory, in others you may use it as a mitigating option. You may even be able to get your license reinstated after proving that you have taken the course.
Accept a Plea Bargain
Depending on your case, your lawyer might recommend that you take a plea bargain after negotiating with the prosecutor. A plea bargain implies a reduction in charges or sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. If your lawyer can prove that the officers lacked probable cause when they asked you to pull over or that your breath test results are inconclusive, the state might reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving with a plea. Of course, your lawyer needs to advise you on the pros and cons of this strategy since, in some states, reckless driving comes with stiffer penalties than a first-time DUI. However, by taking this route, you will be able to keep the DUI off your record.
Accept Probation and Complete It
If the DUI is the only charge you are facing, you might be offered probation instead of jail time. If your record is otherwise clean, you may receive this option. In many cases, the result is that after completing probation successfully, you will no longer be facing a DUI conviction. When offered the option of probation, you may also have to agree to a substance abuse evaluation, a DUI education course, having your driver’s license suspended, random drug testing, and meeting with a probation officer. All that after having paid all court fines and probation fees.
Having the DUI Charges Expunged
If you receive probation and no prison time as part of your DUI charges, you could be eligible to have your DUI charges expunged. This option is generally only available to first-time DUI offenders who otherwise have clean criminal records. You may find that the state where you live offers a deferred adjudication in which the court is willing to withhold judgment and sentencing for a specified period of time. After that period expires, if you have complied with all the conditions set out in your probation, you may request to have the DUI charge completely expunged—or erased—from your record.
An expungement implies that only law enforcement agents will be able to see the DUI charge. This way, you might be able to avoid the devastating consequences that a DUI charge may bring to all aspects of your life.
As you can tell, none of the above options imply that you will be sure to avoid a DUI charge. The best way to go about it is to avoid drinking and driving in the first place. This way, you can sleep easier, knowing that you have done all you can to avoid a DUI charge.