If you have been arrested on DUI or DWI charges, it is critically important that you treat this situation with the utmost seriousness. If this is your first offense and your blood alcohol level “wasn’t that high” or if you have other pressing things going on in your life right now, you may be tempted to treat the charges against you as a nuisance instead of a matter of urgency. Resist that temptation. Why? As an experienced DUI lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright – can confirm, the potential consequences of a DUI conviction (even if it is a first time offense) can extend far beyond the short-term consequences handed down at your sentencing.

Short-Term Consequences

If you plead no contest, if you plead guilty, or if you are convicted after fighting the case against you, you could face mandatory substance abuse treatment, mandatory driver safety instruction, probation, steep fines, the installation of an ignition interlock device, the loss of your driver’s license, mandatory community service, and even jail time. These are all—obviously—consequences worth avoiding. As is the possible disruption of your employment if you either are sent to jail or disciplined in a work context as a result of your conviction.

Long-Term Consequences

If you do not yet have a criminal record, you will want to avoid getting one, if that is at all possible. Having a conviction on your record could lead to difficulties obtaining employment, housing, schooling, and could even affect your child custody rights (if applicable). Even something as seemingly simple as securing a volunteer position in your community could become impossible due to your conviction record. Treating the charges against you seriously can help to ensure that you aren’t dragging a conviction record around for the rest of your life.

If you already have a criminal record, adding to it could lead to revocation of your probation status, an excuse to elevate the charges against you, and a host of other consequences best avoided if at all possible.

Building a Strong Defense

If you have not yet connected with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area to begin building a strong defense on your behalf, do so now. A proactive, serious-minded approach taken now could save you a great deal of grief, time, money, effort, and lost opportunities down the road.