A DUI is not something to brag about, and getting one can be embarrassing and stressful. Not knowing what will happen next, if your employer will find out, if you’ll have to go to jail and miss work, or what could come next is enough to make anyone feel unsure of their legal fate. While a DUI is a very serious charge, and no one should make light of it, it is a common occurrence, and you will come through it. Enlist the support of a Lincoln first DUI lawyer.
If you have received a DUI in Lincoln, Sopinski Law Office is here for you. We have extensive experience in providing support for defendants charged with felony DUI. We have a proven track record of successful cases. We will work tirelessly to achieve a better outcome for our clients by scrutinizing every detail of your case, looking for a possibility to get your charges reduced or dropped. We treat all of our clients with respect and will uphold our duty to defend your rights.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, if a driver is stopped and found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08%, they will be arrested for DUI. There are implied consent laws in Nebraska. This means that when a driver gets behind the wheel of a car and operates the vehicle, they are implying consent to be tested via chemical test, blood test, breathalyzer, or urine test for the purposes of detecting substance use or alcohol use by indicating its presence in their breath or bodily fluids.
Any driver can be tested for intoxication if there are reasonable grounds for law enforcement to believe they are driving under the influence. Nebraska drivers also do not have the right to speak with an attorney before submitting to a chemical test to detect their BAC, and furthermore, if they try to delay their test to seek legal advice, their driver’s license can be revoked.
Penalties for a Lincoln First-Time Drunk Driving Conviction
For first-time DUI charges in Nebraska in which the driver had a BAC higher than 0.15%, the consequences include anywhere from seven to 60 days in jail as well as a $500 fine. Those convictions for first offense DUIs for drivers with a BAC of 0.15% or lower are subject to a suspended sentence of two days in jail or community service for 12 hours.
Additionally, for first-time DUIs, a six-month license revocation is likely. You may also be sentenced to probation, which eliminates jail time, but the $500 fine and a minimum 60-day license suspension are mandatory. In some cases, an ignition interlock device can allow some drivers convicted of a DUI to drive sooner if they are able to blow an alcohol-free breath into a device that detects alcohol before driving.
First offense DUI charges in Nebraska are generally Class W misdemeanor charges and will stay on the driver’s records for five years, in addition to adding six points to their driver’s license. A driver will have their license permanently suspended after accruing 12 points. The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law gives authorities the right to immediately seize the license of a driver who is under arrest for DUI.
Some drivers may be eligible for a temporary 15-day license, but thereafter, the revocation of a driver’s license for a first offense DUI is 180 days. If a driver refuses a BAC test, they may incur additional penalties, including suspension of their license for up to one year.
The only time a first offense Nebraska DUI can result in a felony is if the DUI resulted in an accident and someone was injured. This type of DUI will result in a Class IIIA felony which carries a mandatory prison sentence of three years and a loss of driving privileges from 60 days up to 15 years. If the accident resulted in the death of another person, it is a Class IIA felony for a motor vehicle homicide conviction with a potential 15-year sentence.
Most people, especially those who have had a Nebraska criminal charge for a first offense DUI, don’t regret hiring a defense lawyer to assist them with their case. Not only can a qualified DUI attorney make the whole process less stressful and easier to go through, but experienced DUI attorneys are well-versed in Nebraska criminal law and know how to apply the laws to your case. In other words, the law can have a potentially positive impact on your case instead of a negative one.
For example, you might see a positive BAC test result as detrimental to your case. However, a good attorney can conduct an investigation on your arrest and possibly find evidence of an error that can potentially result in a more favorable outcome for you. This is actually more common than you may think.
Another reason it is a good idea to enlist legal help when you’ve been arrested for a Lincoln DUI is that you may need someone familiar with the legal system and skilled at talking to prosecutors. If your attorney determines a plea deal is optimal for your unique situation, they are the ideal candidate to negotiate the terms of the plea deal.
Ultimately, hiring a Lincoln DUI lawyer can better your odds of minimizing charges, diminishing penalties, and even help you get limited driving privileges so you can continue to work without transportation hardships. A skilled criminal defense attorney knows the opportunities available within the law and can negotiate plea deals that can potentially keep you out of jail.
For instance, probation or a diversionary program may be a possibility, and an attorney has a better chance of getting a prosecutor to agree to these alternative sentences as an alternative to jail. A DUI can impact practically every area of your life and even affect your future. It should be taken seriously and given the most attention possible so it might have less consequential implications in the long run.
The easiest way to get DUI charges minimized or dropped is to expose an improperly conducted test for BAC or find a discrepancy in the arrest process. This is why it is so important for those facing a drunk driving charge to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can properly examine police records in order to determine if the test was applied improperly.
In addition, the arresting officer must have reasonable grounds to arrest an individual for DUI and test the BAC of a driver suspected of driving under the influence. The officer does not have to have proof that the driver is intoxicated, but there must be some law broken, such as a traffic accident, moving violation, or other ticketable event, to establish reasonable grounds.
Below are some things a Nebraska DUI defense attorney will investigate when planning for the most ideal approach to an individual’s DUI criminal defense strategy.
If any improper applications or details of these investigations reveal any kind of error on the part of law enforcement or testing equipment or test application, it does not necessarily constitute a drunk driving charge will be dropped. However, it can minimize charges and alleviate the severity of the penalties incurred.
Most people believe that the cost of a DUI attorney is well worth the trade-off for a lesser sentence and minimized consequences. The cost for a Lincoln DUI defense attorney for a first offense DUI depends on the complexities of the case and the experience of the attorney. For these types of cases, attorney fees can start at $3500 for DUI charges in Nebraska.
There are other costs associated with a DUI as well. For instance, alcohol treatment diversionary programs can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $10,000 or more. Probation also carries monthly costs, including urine testing, and if you get an Interlock system on your car, it can cost another couple hundred dollars for installation and up to $75 per month.
If you were arrested for DUI in Lincoln, you could be facing dire consequences, including potential jail time, but jail time isn’t mandatory for first offense DUI charges in Nebraska. Speaking to a DUI attorney is the fastest way to learn the realistic potential outcomes of your case.
Contact Sopinski Law Office today to discuss possible defense strategies and other facets of your unique case. You don’t have to go through this alone. We are ready and willing to provide the support and legal services you need.
"*" indicates required fields