The penalties threatened against you in a DUI case are significant. If you’re convicted on the charges you face, then you might see negative implications for your freedom, your career, your familial relationships, and your reputation.
The best outcome, of course, is finding a way to beat the prosecution and escape conviction altogether. But even if that isn’t an option because the evidence is simply too stacked against you, there are ways that you can try to mitigate the damage and lessen the penalties imposed upon you. Let’s take a closer look at how you might be able to do that.
Mitigating factors in a DUI case
Two drivers who are convicted of the same DUI offense can face differing penalties depending on their circumstances. If you want to minimize the penalties that you’ll face, then consider how each of the following factors play out in your case:
- Blood alcohol content: A court is probably going to punish someone with a higher BAC more harshly than someone who is just barely over the legal limit. So, consider how your BAC will affect the judge’s perception of you.
- Driving record: If you have a clean driving record, then the court might be more inclined to view your DUI as a mistake. If you have a significant record of reckless or otherwise dangerous driving, though, then the court is going to view sentencing as an opportunity to teach you a lesson.
- Criminal history: A similar analysis is conducted when looking at your criminal history. If it’s clean, then the court might be more lenient with you compared to someone who has an extensive history of criminality.
- Victims: Hopefully no one was hurt as a result of your driving. In victimless DUI cases, you’ll have more room to argue for lighter penalties. If someone was injured by your drunk driving, though, then you won’t want to focus on this aspect, as the court will consider it an aggravating factor. Your only saving grace here may be if you can show that the other driver contributed to the accident.
- Voluntary participation in programming: You might be able to put yourself in the judge’s good graces if you seek out treatment for your alcohol use on your own. Even if you don’t have an ongoing drinking problem, seeking out this programming makes you look good, as it’s an indication that you realize that you’ve made a mistake, you’re taking the matter seriously, and you’re taking action to correct it.
- Prescription drug use: Prescription drugs can play a part in a DUI arrest, especially if they’re at least partially responsible for your impairment. In many of these instances, the intoxication is unintentional, which means that the court might go easy on you when it comes to sentencing.
- Cooperation: You can paint yourself in a good light by cooperating with the police during your arrest. Resisting arrest, on the other hand, might land you in hotter water where you face harsher penalties.
Know how to present a strong criminal defense in your DUI case
You have a lot to think about as you head into your DUI case. Navigating the process can be scary, especially when you think about the stakes involved. But don’t let your fear cause you to cower to the prosecution, as this might result in a plea deal that’s not in your best interests. Instead, think through your DUI defense options so that you can confidently move forward with your case while keeping an eye on protecting your future.