In many instances, a driver’s first DUI charge is a misdemeanor. However, despite the fact that misdemeanor charges are quite common, they are not a charges to take lightly. The good news is that a misdemeanor DUI charge may not entail jail time as part of a sentence. Still, a driver who receives a misdemeanor DUI conviction can find it surprisingly costly.

If you are going to face criminal charges, you want them to be misdemeanor charges rather than felony charges. This is not a surprise to anyone, as felonies generally mean far harsher sentencing, including jail time, severe financial consequences and the loss of many privileges entirely unrelated to driving, such as voting.

While it is important to appreciate that the consequences of a misdemeanor are innately less harsh than a felony, it is still necessary to protect yourself from unnecessary legal and financial consequences.

Even a first time DUI can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees and court costs. It may also substantially increase costs of insurance or result in the loss of your driving privileges for a significant period of time. For those who depend on their vehicle to get to work or care for loved ones, the prospect of losing driving privileges is just as much or more devastating than the fines themselves.

If you face first time DUI charges, you have an important opportunity to keep the charges off your record entirely, provided that you act quickly and decisively. The sooner you begin building your defense, the sooner you can review the evidence against you and craft legal strategies to keep your rights secure and your future privileges intact.

Source: FindLaw, “When is a DUI a Misdemeanor?,” accessed March 09, 2018