When you get pulled over for a DUI (now called OVI), you likely realize that you could get arrested – you probably even realize that you could go to jail, if convicted. But, there are other potential repercussions that may surprise you. The repercussions of a DUI/OVI conviction can be more far reaching than many people initially realize. The consequences make it worth defending against the charges, even if you think you might be guilty. There are also many ways that a criminal defense attorney can help lessen some of these consequences short of trying to prove you innocent.
Here are just a few of the potential consequences of a drunk driving conviction:
- Job Loss – Many employers are reluctant to hire someone who has been convicted of a DUI/OVI. While a DUI/OVI arrest likely has nothing to do with a person’s ability to be an excellent employee, employers may worry about the impact upon job performance, problems down the road, or even potentially increases to their medical insurance costs. Jobs which involve any driving are certainly impacted. Many corporate insurance polices will not cover individuals with a DUI/OVI conviction. Even if you drive your own car, employers worry about being liable for any driving you do while on company business.
- Loss of Respect in the Community – Are you ready for your friends, family, and neighbors to find out that you have been convicted of criminal offense? Are you ready to have your children, spouse, and parents embarrassed by your criminal conviction? Are you ready to have parents refuse to send their children over to your home because they are worried that you might have a problem with alcohol?
- Loss of Driver’s License – Are you ready to be dependent on friends, family, and public transportation because you can’t legally drive to places you need to go? How will you get to work? How will you run errands? How will you take your children to school or the doctor’s office?
- Embarrassment – More and more people are turning to the internet for information. A simple Google search of your name can reveal the fact of your DUI conviction. In many circumstances, your mug shot could be the first thing seen by anyone who searches your name.
- Criminal Record – DUI/OVI convictions can never be expunged or removed from your record in any way. The fact of your DUI/OVI conviction will be on your criminal record for the rest of your life. Additionally, certain laws now permit a prior DUI/OVI conviction to be held against you for the nest 20 years.
There’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction. If you have been arrested for DUI or OVI, the potential repercussions are too great to sit back and just let it happen. You should immediately consult with a qualified DUI defense attorney to zealously identify and argue your best defenses. Even if you think you might have driven impaired, there may be a defense or mitigation which can substantially limit the impact of your arrest.