If you had a drink or two and got behind the wheel, you probably felt a nervous rush when you saw the police sirens lit up behind you. Getting pulled over after drinking can lead to a DUI, and getting charged with a DUI is a big deal. If you are currently facing DUI charges and wondering how to handle them, there are several important things you should know as you prepare to face these charges.

Your Charges Are Based on Blood-Alcohol Content

When you get arrested for a DUI, it is likely because the police pulled you over and tested your blood-alcohol content (BAC) with a breathalyzer. If you did not agree to a breathalyzer, the police would have no concrete evidence of your guilt; however, they can still arrest you if there are enough signs that you are impaired. If you took the test and tested above the legal limits, the police have enough evidence to charge you with a DUI crime. If you are not sure what your BAC was at the time, you should find this out as you face charges. The legal limit in most states is 0.08. There are states that have enacted even stricter laws, such as Utah, where the legal limit is not 0.05.

The Consequences You May Face

A DUI charge is considered a serious crime and can fall into the category of a felony. There are times, though, when courts will reduce it to a misdemeanor. In any case, there are a lot of serious consequences you may face if you are charged with a DUI, and these include the following:

  • The court may suspend your license.
  • You may be required to carry SR-22 insurance when you get your license back.
  • You could face fines.
  • You could face time in jail.
  • You may be required to attend alcohol classes.

The actual consequences you will face will depend on the conviction the court decides for your case, and this will depend on many factors.

The Strategies to Get the Best Results from Your Case

The top factors that will affect the strategy your lawyer decides to use with your case are your criminal history, the number of DUIs you have had in the past, and the circumstances of the actual event when you were arrested. For a person with a clean criminal past and no DUIs, the court will likely go light on the person. Courts will not be as generous, though, for repeat offenders and people with histories of committing crimes.

If possible, your lawyer will aim to get a plea agreement for you. In a DUI case, this will often mean that the court will reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and that you will have a lighter consequence to pay. If the court offers this type of deal, it is often in your best interest to accept it. While it will still be a misdemeanor on your record, it beats the alternative.

Additionally, you should realize that the court will appoint a lawyer to you if you request one and meet the requirements for one. The lawyer appointed will be a public defender, and you should realize that public defenders do not offer the same representation as criminal lawyers you hire on your own. Because of this, you should carefully think about how you could come up with enough money to afford to pay a lawyer for help, as the results will likely be better if you choose this route.

If you do not know how to handle the DUI charge you are currently facing, talk to a criminal defense attorney. A criminal lawyer can help you know your options and rights and will be able to help you choose the right path as you face this charge.