Did you know a DUI can stay on your record for life? Yes, a single criminal charge such as a DUI can be on your legal records forever. That makes preparing an effective defense crucial. If you plead guilty, a big mistake, you are accepting that employers, colleges, the military, and more can find this on your record. If you decide to join the army, for example, on their background check your criminal charges, including DUI, will be found. This can have life changing consequences.
Why is it like this?
DUI is a criminal charge. Though seen as commonplace to some, it can change your life. The problem is that drinking and driving leads to thousands of deaths every year (about 10,000, in fact), where people who drink drive, crash, and deaths are involved. You might hit a pedestrian, hit a parked vehicle, even hit a vehicle with children in it. And the deaths are only the beginning. There are even more injuries – to drunk drivers and others – than deaths. That makes the reason a DUI stays on your record clear.
What if you are not guilty?
If you are not guilty, you need to plead your case in court. Many consider pleading guilty, even if they don’t believe they were over the limit. Since breath and blood tests are not 100% accurate, you need to question the case made against you. You may have in fact been under the limit for drinking. Even if you believe you are guilty, by pleading guilty you ensure this will be on your record forever. If you are not guilty, the most important step to take is hiring a lawyer.
Where can you find a lawyer?
You should find a lawyer capable of defending you who is local and won’t charge you a fortune, which is very possible. Since state laws differ, you want a local lawyer who understands the laws and has experience. Some DUI lawyers are more expensive than others. Few of us can afford to spend $25,000 on a defense.
How can a lawyer help?
A lawyer can question the entire case made against you. Likely, your lawyer will advise you not to plead guilty. If you plead guilty, as noted, it will stay on your record. Quite often, an effective defense can be made. It doesn’t always mean you’ll win; sometimes you’ll only lessen penalties. But a lawyer protects your legal rights more than anyone else.
Can you get it taken off your record?
You might be able to have a lesser charge show up on your record – rather than a more serious charge – with an effective defense. Though rare, you might also be able to have the entire case expunged from your record, so it will not show up for potential employers and institutions. This is impossible without an experienced lawyer.
In the midst of the confusion following a DUI charge and/or conviction, many people are unaware that their records will be altered. Having DUI records in your background can affect your life in many ways, even years after your conviction. Understanding what can happen to your record is key and with the help of an attorney you may be able to resolve these issues.