Will I Do Jail Time For A DUI/DWI?
The short answer is it depends. Most states require at least some jail time for a DUI/DWI conviction, however, there are some states that don’t require jail time for a misdemeanor DUI/DWI. In the states that require jail time the amount of jail time will depend on which state you got the DUI/DWI in, as well as other circumstances including: if there was an accident, if there were any injuries, were any kids involved, is this the drivers first DUI/DWI, and the level of intoxication of the driver. Most states will increase the severity of the charge based on the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system at the time of arrest.
Prior DUI/DWIs convictions will increase the amount of jail time defendant might get. In some states this can result in being charged with a felony DUI/DWI. Felony DUI/DWIs convictions can result in multiple years in prison. Felony DUI/DWIs charges are usually brought when there are two prior conviction or if there is some other aggravating circumstances; like children in the vehicle or if the driver’s license was suspended at the time of the DUI/DWI. Not all DUI/DWIs defendants are taken into custody when they get arrested. Most people that get arrested will be cited and released to a family member or friend who is capable of driving. However, if you are taken to jail when you got arrested, most states will allow you to use that jail time towards any that you are required to complete as part of your conviction. This means if you were taken to jail on the night of your DUI/DWI arrest you can use that day of jail as part of your required jailed time.
In addition to any criminal charges/punishments, you may also face civil proceedings that can result in costly damages payments, or even punitive damages if it’s deemed you acted intentionally or in gross negligence with disregard for human life. These often occur if others involved in the accident face personal injuries or even wrongful death.
Every DUI/DWI is different. If you get arrested for a DUI/DWI you may want to call a Phoenix DUI/DWI attorney immediately. Avoid answering any questions without first talking to an attorney. DUI/DWI are serious charges in which the state will most likely be trying to put you in jail, you need to know your rights. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation where you can discuss your case and get information on how to proceed.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Sean Thrush of Thrush Law Group, for his insight into DUI/DWI defense practice.