You’re likely reading this post because you’ve recently been charged with your first DUI in Eagan, Minnesota or elsewhere in the state. This can be a stressful time for anyone – you may have spent some time in jail already, and now you need to hire an attorney to help you fight your charges. If you’ve never experienced anything like this before, you may not know where to begin.
Your first hurdle is understanding what exactly your charges are and what the repercussions of a conviction will be. Even though the definition of a DUI is specific (in Minnesota, it means driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, or simply driving while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances), not all people who are charged with a first-time DUI will have the same charges. When you are charged with a DUI for the first time, you’ll generally be facing a Fourth Degree charge. However, with aggravating factors your first-time DUI may change to a Second- or Third-Degree DUI. Aggravating factors include having a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher and/or having a child under age 16 in the car with you at the time of your DUI arrest. Your specific charges will have a lot to do with the punishment you will receive if you are convicted, including fines you may have to pay.
While your primary concern should be hiring an attorney to help you defend yourself against the DUI charge, we know it can be difficult to ignore the costs associated with your arrest. Individuals who have been convicted of a DUI often spread the word about all the money they had to cough up during their case, so it is common knowledge that DUIs can be expensive.
So, How Much Will My First-Time DUI Offense Cost Me?
It’s the answer no one wants to hear, but it’s the unfortunate truth: a DUI conviction may cost you a lot. From a financial standpoint, a first-time Fourth Degree DUI conviction can come with a fine of up to $1000. If there are aggravating circumstances, you could be convicted of Second Degree DUI and pay up to $3,000! That’s after paying your attorney for representing you, not to mention the lost wages you may have suffered if you were incarcerated for some length of time. Apart from the criminal fines, there will likely also be expenses related to driver’s license reinstatement, treatment or programming, probation, etc. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right attorney for your case – someone who has experience with DUI cases in your jurisdiction and who will be aggressive about protecting your rights.
A DUI conviction can cost you in other areas of your life, too. Your conviction will go on your criminal record (which you may not have even had before your DUI). A criminal conviction may cause people to view you in a different light, even though you are still the same person. That being said, a DUI charge does not necessarily mean a DUI conviction. When you work with a DUI criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in the statutes and the procedures law enforcement must follow, he or she can easily navigate your case and act as your advocate.
How Can I Avoid the Financial Burden of a DUI?
There is one thing you should never skimp on when facing your first-time DUI charge, and that’s adequate representation. Please don’t find the most inexpensive attorney possible to represent you; price should not be the determining factor when the stakes are so high. If you see a DUI lawyer advertising shockingly inexpensive services, ask yourself why that may be. There is likely a reason, and it’s probably one that would dissuade you from hiring him or her. Ethics violations, low success rates, lack of experience, and more can all force Eagan DUI defense attorneys to lower their prices just to stay in business. If your lawyer is inexperienced or underprepared it can end up costing you much more in the long run.
Reputable DUI Defense Attorneys in Eagan
If you’ve recently been charged with your first DUI and you’re looking for a lifeline during this confusing time, contact the attorneys of Sieben Edmunds Miller. Our team is comprised of Eagan DUI lawyers who have experience defending against DUI charges throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. We will guide you through the process and fight with tenacity to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Give us a call at (651) 323-2464 or contact us here.
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