Why Should You Fight a DUI Charge? The Heavy Consequences

Why Should You Fight a DUI Charge? The Heavy Consequences

Here at The Law Office of Kevin O’Grady, LLC, one theme common among most of my driving under the influence (DUI) clients is that they question whether or not defending themselves against a DUI charge is even necessary. This is especially true for clients who have never had a run in with the law before now. While it might seem like sitting back and letting the criminal justice system decide your case without any of your own input is the easy solution, please believe me – a Honolulu DUI defense attorney with nearly 20 years of legal experience – that this is actually the most stressful way to handle your DUI charges. If you don’t put up a fight, you are going to be bombarded with any number of serious consequences, many of them you probably never thought to anticipate.

To get the point across, allow me to be thorough in explaining just how many consequences can arise after you are convicted for a DUI:

  • License and permit complications or penalties:
    • Suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
    • Restriction of your license use to and from work or school – and nowhere else.
    • Loss of special commercial license endorsements (CDL).
    • Mandatory purchase of special car insurance that includes proof of insurance component.
    • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle driven or owned – effectively stops you from using any car but your own.
    • Revocation or suspension of certain professional and occupational licenses, such as those held by certain physicians.
    • Restriction on how you can obtain special permits, licenses, or benefits that require finding that you have good moral character, such as concealed firearm carry permit, serving as a foster parent, or participating in low income food and housing programs.
  • Mandatory education, rehabilitation, or training penalties:
    • Participation in DUI prevention education program for period of 3 to 30 months.
    • Participation in driver safety class.
    • Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.
    • Participation in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) impact panel meeting.
    • Participation in Hospital Morgue Program – DUI convicts are shown the bodies of those recently killed in drunk driving accidents.
    • Residential Treatment Program – more commonly called “going to rehab” – for a month or longer.
  • Penalties that will impact you financially:
    • Fines ordered to be paid to the state as a criminal punishment.
    • Paying for criminal defense lawyer, or reimbursing government for court-appointed lawyer, and payment or reimbursement of other trial-related expenses.
    • Cancellation of or increase in cost of automotive insurance.
    • Denial of employment, loss of promotion, or loss of job.
    • Damage to person or property from accident caused by driving while intoxicated with attendant liability.
  • Penalties that restrict your freedom or mobility:
    • Jail or prison time sentenced by the judge upon conviction.
    • Community service that may be as long as 72 hours (first-time conviction).
    • Electronic monitoring – anklets, bracelets, phone apps, etc. – so the government knows where you are at all times.
    • Probation with terms that could include abstaining from alcohol, staying away from businesses that primarily sell alcohol, restriction on contact with other probationers, and waiver of Fourth Amendment right.
  • Problems impacting your status:
    • Involuntary separation from military service, or dishonorable discharge.
    • Court-Martial, Non-Judicial Punishment, Captain’s Mast, etc.
    • Restrictions on travel and ban from entry to some foreign countries.
    • Delay or denial in obtaining U.S. citizenship.
    • Loss of top secret clearance, which can impact current and future employment, income, and reputation among numerous government branches and agencies.
  • Personal problems that can arise due to DUI conviction:
    • Strain on marriage and relationships with friends and family.
    • Suspension from school, delaying your graduation, interrupting your education, or the reduction of student grants or loans.
    • Depression triggered by the numerous penalties and the feeling of being judged.
    • Increase in health problems and a decrease of sleeping hours from stress and anxiety.
    • Decline in productivity at work due to depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc.
    • Modification of family law child custody orders that reduce your contact with your children.
    • Creation of public record of arrest or conviction, and its disclosure to friends, family, and neighbors, which may cause embarrassment, loss of reputation, denial of participation in youth sports, withdrawal of marriage proposals, and so on.

Perhaps needless to say after mentioning so many potential impacts caused by a DUI conviction – and there are surely many more not listed – the first thing on your mind after being arrested for suspicion of DUI should be getting a strong legal defense. If you’re looking for a reputable, honest, and tenacious Honolulu DUI defense attorney, look no further than my law firm. Feel free to contact us at any time by calling 800-DUI-CASE and setting up a free initial consultation. Together, we can take on your DUI charges and seek out a conclusion that reduces your charges, dismisses the case, or includes an acquittal.