As with any criminal charge, if you get charged with DUI (driving under the influence), you are innocent until proven guilty. If you plead guilty or the jury trial finds you guilty, your penalty depends on state law and any aggravating situation. This article delves into the possible penalties you face for DUI and the role of DUI attorneys in your case.

Penalties for DUI

Most states involve a criminal hearing and an administrative driver's license hearing if you get charged with DUI. In addition, if found guilty, you face one or more of the penalties discussed below.


How long you stay in jail or prison largely depends on the number of prior convictions and aggravating factors:

  • First offense convictions. Many states consider DUI a misdemeanor punishable by less than six months to 1 year in jail. In Pennsylvania, you don't get any jail time for DUI. Also, some states impose probation instead of jail term.

  • Repeat offenses. The jail term for the second and subsequent DUIs is longer than first offense convictions. For multiple DUIs, jail may be a mandatory part of the sentence.

  • Aggravating situations. Factors such as accidents and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) also determine your jail term. For example, you will likely receive a longer sentence if your BAC is high or you caused an accident.

License Suspension

The court or the state motor vehicle department can suspend your license for a substantial period. Apart from DUI, you can face license suspension if you unlawfully refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Unlawful refusal attracts a longer suspension than what you would otherwise face. However, you can get a hardship license to drive to and fro work and school during the suspension.


DUI convictions often result in fines. Even though the amount varies from state to state, factors that increase jail time also increase fine amounts. For instance, your fine amount increases with the number of prior convictions.

Why Do You Need a DUI Attorneys?

If your case proceeds to a criminal court, DUI attorneys become imperative to represent your best interests. Here's how DUI attorneys ensure the best results to safeguard your future.

Gather Evidence

Evidence proves your guilt or innocence, and getting the right information is complex and time-consuming. First, your DUI attorneys compile witness statements, expert statements, and documents to secure favorable results. Then, you can either prove an error or discredit the field sobriety test to prove your innocence.

Represent You in Court

Your DUI attorney's goal is to get the best possible outcome. For example, a complete dismissal of the charges or reduction of penalties. Your lawyer has the expertise to argue and negotiate in a courtroom. The result is a minimal negative consequence to your future regarding fewer fines, reduced license suspension period, etc.


Don't waste time after a DUI arrest. Instead, contact excellent DUI attorneys for legal advice. You may have legal defense even if the prosecutor seems to have a solid case. Common defense strategies include breath test problems or the police making a mistaken arrest.