There is no doubt that if you are convicted of driving under the influence that your record will be affected, but there are two aspects of the conviction, affecting two of your records. There is an administrative license suspension as well as criminal charges. Administrative license suspension is governed by administrative or civil law and affects your driving record and driver’s license. The criminal charges are governed by criminal law an encompass fines, fees, sentencing, parole and penalties. With an administrative license suspension, your driver’s license is taken away before you are convicted, usually right on the spot and most often when you fail or refuse to take a field sobriety test. After having your license suspended on the spot, most states require that you schedule an administrative hearing within five to 10 days. This administrative hearing has nothing to do with your appearance in court – it doesn’t dictate or rule whether you are guilty of a crime, but instead addresses the circumstances surrounding your arrest by answering questions such as:
· Were you arrested on reasonable grounds?
· Were you asked to take a field sobriety test?
· Did the officer tell you the consequences of failing the sobriety test or refusing to take the test?
· Did you refuse to take the sobriety test or fail it?
· Should you have your driver’s license suspended?
When you have failed a drunk driving test you generally have to go to court to be sentenced. In most cases, a conviction of driving under the influence is a misdemeanor when there are no injuries involved, however driving under the influence can be classified as a felony if there has been serious injuries or a death as a result of your DUI. The sentencing at your court date will determine:
- How your conviction of DUI should be classified, either as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- What fines you need to pay.
- What taxes you need to pay.
- How long you will have your driver’s license suspended or revoked for.
- Whether you can obtain a temporary license.
- Whether you are eligible for parole.
- Whether you need to do community service.
- IF there is any drug programs or classes that you need to take and complete.
- If you require an ignition interlock device to be installed on your vehicle.
The penalties that you face when convicted of a DUI can be quite severe the first time and escalate for your second and third convictions. When you are convicted of a DUI, you have a criminal record which can stay on your record forever unless your state allows you to have it expunged. Everyone who checks your record – employers, creditors, credit bureaus and government agencies will be able to see your DUI conviction on your record. The best thing you can do when you are charged with a DUI is find an attorney to represent you and help you with you DUI case and record.