Does a DUI Ruin Your Life?

Does a DUI Ruin Your Life?

One of the scariest parts of receiving a DUI charge or conviction is the uncertainty over how it’ll impact your day-to-day life. What about your job, for instance? How severely is your insurance going to be affected? How much of your future will be impacted by this charge? After experiencing a DUI arrest, this can be a frightening prospect.

You may be wondering if a DUI arrest is going to ruin your life—after all, isn’t that usually the case? Well, in reality, a DUI doesn’t need to permanently ruin or severely damage your life. Believe it or not, there is hope after a DUI charge, and it’s entirely possible to live a happy, fulfilling life following your arrest.

This isn’t to downplay the difficulties you’re likely facing following a DUI arrest. Even if you’re working with an experienced DUI attorney, this event will probably have made some kind of impact on your life. However, even then, this is far from a death sentence. Always know that, at the end of this situation, there is hope for you.

A DUI Isn’t Always a Felony in California

Something you may not know that could serve as reassuring information, is that California DUIs aren’t always treated as felonies. The state of California is a wobbler state, meaning that, depending on the unique circumstances of your situation, you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.

For example, say you’re facing your first ever DUI charge. Due to this lack of criminal history, it’s almost certain that your DUI case will be treated as a misdemeanor, rather than a felony. In fact, misdemeanors make up the majority of California DUI cases.

This becomes quite a bit more complicated if you’re a repeated DUI offender, or if your impaired driving led to someone else’s injury or death. If you’ve received four or more DUI charges in the past ten years, then prosecutors are able to “wobble” the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony, if they feel it is appropriate. The same thing can happen if someone was injured or killed while you were driving under the influence.

However, even in cases of repeated DUI offenses or someone’s injury, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be charged with a felony. The best way to avoid this is by working alongside a California DUI attorney, such as those at the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores. An experienced DUI lawyer understands exactly how the legal system works, in regards to DUI charges and convictions. Armed with this knowledge and experience, a lawyer may be able to bring a felony charge down to a misdemeanor. This simple change can have a substantial impact on your life following this situation.

Wobbler crimes are actually quite common in California, where prosecutors are afforded a good deal of discretion during sentencing. For this to be successful, you will need to make sure that you show remorse for your actions in court, explaining that your culpability should be reduced as a result of mitigating circumstances and stressing your lack of a criminal history (if this is the case). Don’t simply accept a felony charge; you can work to have it reduced in a California wobbler case. Of course, your DUI lawyer will be there to help you accomplish this.

You Could Face Significant Fines and Fees

Following a DUI arrest, there is likely going to be a toll taken on your finances, for a variety of reasons. For example, even after a single DUI arrest, you can expect to see a substantial increase in your insurance costs. Financially speaking, receiving a DUI can be a difficult situation to deal with. All of these costs—from legal fees to fines from the state—are going to add up. We won’t sugarcoat that.

However, this is far from a hopeless situation. For one, if you’re working alongside a DUI attorney, the amount of fees and fines you face can be reduced. This will make the financial stress of a DUI arrest just a bit more manageable.

A DUI’s Impact on Your Job Search

This is an area that can appear especially disheartening, to those facing a potential DUI conviction. Again, this is another topic that shouldn’t be sugarcoated. Most companies will be extremely hesitant to hire someone with a DUI conviction on their criminal record, even if that individual is just a one time offender.

Some companies may simply have a policy regarding the hiring of individuals with criminal records. Alternatively, other employers may worry about insurance liability problems, especially when a company car or vehicle is needed to fulfill the position. Once more, working with a California DUI attorney can help you to avoid conviction, thus minimizing the effect your arrest will have on your career in the future.

DUI Expungement is an Option in California

Even at times when the situation feels hopeless, there’s still a chance you could qualify for expungement. By having a DUI conviction expunged from your criminal record, you will no longer be required to disclose it during most background checks.

Currently, if you’re struggling to secure housing, find a job, apply for financial aid, or experiencing any other consequence of a DUI arrest, an expungement could eliminate most of your issues. If you have completed your probationary period or your incarceration term, you may qualify to petition the California court for DUI expungement. After the judge reviews your conviction record and your petition, they’ll determine whether or not expungement is an appropriate course of action.

If you’re considering pursuing expungement for a DUI conviction, it’s in your best interest to work alongside an attorney. Not only will this make the process significantly simpler, but you’ll also have a far better chance of succeeding.

California DUI Attorney Fights to Give You a Better Life

If you’ve been arrested due to a DUI, it’s never too late to get in touch with a DUI attorney. At the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores, we understand the legalities of DUI, and we know just how to get you the best possible outcome. Your life shouldn’t be ruined after a single DUI conviction, and we’ll fight to help you avoid that situation. Interested in learning more, or looking to schedule a consultation? Contact us through our website, or give our office a call.

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