A DUI is a serious crime that can have long-lasting consequences, but perhaps the consequence that will rock your world the most is if you end up being thrown in jail as a result of your arrest or conviction. Will you absolutely have to spend some time in jail after a first DUI conviction, or is there a way to avoid it? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how long you may have to spend in jail after your first DUI.
First DUI Jail Time
As you might imagine, there is no one-size-fits-all sentence that all first time DUI offenders in Minnesota will face because all DUIs are different. Some offenses involve very high blood-alcohol concentrations, others may take place with minors in the vehicle or while driving specialized equipment, so the state has elected to determine sentences on a case by case basis. The good news is, for a standard, first-time, first-degree DUI conviction, it’s unlikely that you will spend any time in jail. You may spend a little time at a holding center while you sober up and you are officially charged, but it tends to be pretty rare that a basic, first-time DUI without accident, injury or any aggravating factors will lead to any jail time after sentencing.
Now, that’s not to say it is completely out of the picture, because you absolutely can be sentenced to jail time after your first DUI. A standard first-time offense is treated as a first-degree DUI, which is considered a misdemeanor offense. In Minnesota, misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000, among other potential penalties. So in theory, you could be sentenced to 90 days in jail after your first DUI, even if there was nothing out of the ordinary with your arrest.
Reducing Your Likelihood Of Jail After Your First DUI
So while it’s unlikely that you’ll face ail time for your first DUI, that doesn’t mean you should just plead guilty and assume you’re all clear. In fact, there are some things you can do to help increase your chances of avoiding jail after your first DUI. Those things include:
Hiring A Lawyer – A lawyer is your best bet in avoiding jail time after a DUI. They can help you beat the charges, petition for certain sentences after a conviction, or work to develop a plea deal that specifically avoids jail time.
Staying Out Of Trouble – Staying out of trouble while your case is pending or after it has concluded is also important. If you get in additional trouble while your case is pending, the judge may opt to impose a jail sentence to teach you a lesson or to keep you out of even more issues if you were immediately released. Some judges also issue what’s known as a “stayed sentence,” which means your jail sentence isn’t imposed as long as you follow certain court ordered conditions. If you get a stayed sentence after a first-offense DUI and then you get in more trouble, you could end up in jail as a result of your DUI.
Being Polite, Timely and Respectful – Finally, when you’re in court for your DUI case, you’ll want to be on time (or early) for every appearance. While you’re there, be polite and respectful to all staff and the judge, because if you get on their bad side or act out in court, you might end up facing a harsher sentence.
If you want help contesting your DUI or avoiding jail after a drunk driving charge, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.