OWI / DUI / DWI Lawyer

Drunk Driving Attorney Serving Lake County Indiana  – Northwest Indiana

Driving or operating under the influence is one of the most common offenses in the US. In almost every state, a OWI DUI conviction is a misdemeanor that can attract up to six months in jail with substantial fines. Like any other crime, past convictions will have a bearing on the seriousness of the punishment.

First timers

For the first timers, the punishments are relatively less strict. There are almost always a minimum number of days to be served in a OWI DUI, so this is likely what one will get when it is the first time. The punishments however can also come in the form of huge fines and mandatory attendance of OWI DUI School. Licenses can be suspended for a period of up to a year although there are rules in place that allow one to drive to and from work or run errands. Depending on the state and count, there might be information probation for a period of up to three years. The conviction will also be available to the DMV.

Past offenses

Those that have previous convictions of OWI, DUI or DWI should prepare for a rough ride. Judges are more likely to give greater weight to the case if there are priors than when it is the first time offence. Whether you get a minimum or maximum sentences will eventually depend on the blood alcohol level and just how bad the driving was. Most of the time, a higher blood alcohol level shows through erratic driving, making the driver a danger to themselves and the people and property around them if they continue driving. Many convictions with past offences will normally require mandatory attendance of OWI DUI School.

The consequences

The immediate consequences of the OWI DUI are huge, but not many people realize that a conviction could hurt them in the long run. Some of the longer term consequences include;

Revocation of licenses: any OWI DUI conviction can result in drivers’ licenses being revoked, for a period of up to two years even for the first timers in some states. This will make it difficult to move around, get to work, pick up the kids, run errands and so on. Family gatherings or arriving for work on time suddenly require huge effort.

Background checks: many employers require a background check before they consider potential employees for the job. A misdemeanor or felony OWI DUI will appear on the background check and immediately make you a less desirable candidate for the job. College application processes, financial aid and housing applications might also be affected by the appearance of a OWI DUI on record. Many landlords today conduct background checks, and this could get in the way of getting that dream apartment. Some scholarship based schools do not accept within their ranks any students that have been convicted of OWI DUI.

Employment: After the initial OWI DUI arrest, the current job will also suffer. Honoring court dates, community service or jail time all happen at the expense of the job. This affects the livelihood of the family and dependants for those that are the breadwinners. Away from having employers who are uncomfortable hiring, a OWI DUI comes with license revocation, which will likely affect performance. You will arrive late or have to do too much to get to work, reducing productivity.

Auto insurance: the most important variable in the determination of auto insurance rates is just how careful one is as a driver. After a OWI DUI, auto insurance rates will likely increase significantly. Drivers with a OWI DUI on their records are taken as high risk by the insurance companies. Rates might double or triple, and stay that way for several years. In some extreme cases, insurance companies might even terminate the contract.

Relationships: OWI DUI convictions affect the way you are perceived by co-workers, bosses and even close friends and family members. Even if kept under wraps, any sort of negative publicity on the company as a result of the OWI DUI may even result in loss of a job. OWIs DUIs also often come with an increased level of scrutiny from members of one’s family. You might end up being overcome with feelings of shame and guilt, or anger when family members want to pry into your personal life.

It seems relatively simple, and even when it is a few days in jail or just a fine, a OWI DUI will still have adverse consequences. Your ability to get a job or get into a good school will be severely compromised. Even if you are already employed, your position now becomes precarious as employer and coworker attitudes change.

To avoid the possibility of such consequences in the future, look for a capable lawyer to fight the OWI / DUI conviction in court. At Semko Law Office, our OWI / DUI attorneys will work with you to avoid that dangerous conviction. Call us today and book an appointment for help with your OWI / DUI.