Top Reasons to Fight Your DUI Charge
It is easy enough to assume, if it is your first time in court or first ever DUI, that pleading guilty is the fastest way to get the case over with and move on. What people do not realize is the consequences of a guilty plea and a DUI on their criminal record.
The best thing you can do for your future if you are facing criminal charges (including a DUI) is to speak with a defense attorney. Not fighting your DUI could affect you the rest of your life – and in more ways than you might realize.
Why You Should Fight Your Albuquerque DUI Charges
Striking a plea deal might get you out of jail quicker and allow you to move on with your life, but your life will never be the same. Whether you are thinking of representing yourself or you have an attorney pushing you to take a plea, there are some valid reasons to fight a DUI charge.
Naturally, you should consult with an attorney before applying this information to your case. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence, a plea deal might be your best option. Even if pleading out is your only option, a good attorney will make the terms favorable enough so that your one mistake is not one that haunts you for good.
The Consequences of a Conviction Are Serious
It does not matter if this is your first time being arrested for driving under the influence. New Mexico seeks to punish anyone driving under the influence to deter them and others from doing it again in the future.
A first-time conviction could still result in jail time, a loss of your driver’s license, community service, and extensive fines.
9 Very Good Reasons to Fight Your DUI Charge
New Mexico, like all states, has strict laws that prohibit anyone from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The consequences of a DUI conviction are far-reaching and impact you in more ways than just spending a few days in jail.
If you are thinking of pleading guilty, here are nine reasons to reconsider:
- Your driver’s license will be suspended. First-time offenders do not get off easy. Your driver’s license will be suspended for your first offense. To reinstate your driver’s license, you must complete a bureau-approved DWI Prevention and Education Program. You will apply by showing you have completed that program and pay a fee to reinstate. If your license was suspended for points from the DUI traffic offense, you would also be required to take an eight hour driving safety course.
- You will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Whether you keep your driver’s license or you have it reinstated, the law requires that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and keep it for a one year minimum. You must pay for the installation, maintenance, and any repairs required. Also, if you fail the IID test and your vehicle locks, you will pay out-of-pocket to unlock the vehicle.
- You will fail most background checks. You might not be a convicted felon, but employers still screen for misdemeanors, including DUIs. A DUI will affect you when you apply for jobs that conduct background checks, and this conviction will also show up for housing applications.
- Your current job might be affected. If you spend time in jail, you may lose your current job. Also, attending court dates, completing driver’s education courses, and doing your community service hours all impact your work abilities. Job seekers also have a significant disadvantage when they apply with a DUI on their record. Some jobs that require you to drive a company vehicle will automatically disqualify you.
- You will pay higher automobile insurance rates. After a DUI conviction, you must notify your automobile insurance company of the conviction. Even a first offense will classify you as a “high risk” driver, which means higher insurance rates for several years post-conviction. Some insurance companies refuse to carry high risk drivers, which means they will terminate your policy and you must find new coverage.
- You might find it affects your professional relationships. Being convicted of a DUI can change your professional image. Coworkers and employers may treat you differently.
- You could disqualify for scholarship programs. Schools will not accept a student with a DUI for their scholarship. If you apply for a scholarship, you might find it is denied. If you are currently on scholarship, the school may revoke the benefit.
- You might find it affects private relationships. Your professional life is not the only one at stake; a criminal conviction could affect your relationship with family and friends, too.
- You could face enhanced penalties. If you are convicted of a DUI that involves an accident, the penalties are more severe. Not only will you face enhanced jail sentences and longer license suspensions, but you could be subjected to a civil lawsuit as well.
Fight Your DUI by Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Before you accept a plea or assume you have no options, speak with a criminal defense attorney at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. Our attorneys know the long-term consequences of pleading guilty, and we will fight for your rights.
Do not risk your career, freedom, and financial stability. Instead, meet with one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation. Schedule your appointment now by calling 505-375-4664 or request more information online.