If you have been charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) because you operated a vehicle while you were under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substance, the result may be that you have sanctions against your driver’s license, which may cause many license suspensions. It is important that you understand what you may possibly expect going forward.
There are many different types of suspensions and becoming acquainted with what they are may give you a leg up in the process.
- Lapse in Temporary License, 90-day suspension: When you received the DUI, the arresting officer likely took your license. You should have been given a receipt for your driver’s license at the time. That receipt can be considered a temporary driver’s permit and will only be valid for 30 days from when it was issued. Once your permit expires, your license will officially be suspended for 90 days. You can attempt to stop the suspension by contacting the court, asking for a trial date and requesting an extension of the permit. If you don’t contact the court, the 90-day suspension will hold.
- Refusing an alcohol concentration test: If the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are operating the vehicle on a public road, highway, or other street in Mississippi while you are under the influence of alcohol or some other substance that may cause you to be impaired (physically and/or mentally), your license will be suspended for 90 days. However, it is possible to avoid a suspension if the court orders you (as the driver) to have an ignition interlock-restricted license.
- DUI Non-adjudications: Non-adjudication is defined as the court withholding adjudication of guilt and sentencing if you plead guilty or if the court determines that your trial has merit. In either of those cases, you may be ordered to participate in and complete a non-adjudication program. You will be required to meet all of the requirements of the course in the eyes of the court.
- Eligibility for non-adjudication: You may be eligible for non-adjudication only once under the law. In order to qualify, you must successfully meet all of the terms and conditions of the court. Additionally, you must not hold a commercial license or a learner’s permit at the time when you were issued the DUI.
What are the consequences for the different DUI offenses?
The consequences of a DUI offense depend on whether it is a first offense or a subsequent offense. The more offenses you have, the more severe the punishment will be.
- First offense: Your driver’s license will be suspended for 120 days unless the court has ordered you to have an ignition interlock-restricted license. Also, you will be ordered to attend and complete the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program and you will have to show proof of insurance for 3 years.
- Second offense: If you are charged with the second offense within 5 years of the first offense, your license will be suspended for 1 year or the court will order you to have an ignition interlock-restricted license.
- Third offense: A third offense is considered a felony and you will most likely be incarcerated. Once you have served your sentence, you will be issued an ignition interlock-restricted license.
- Fourth offense: A fourth offense is considered a felony and you will most be incarcerated. Once you have served your sentence, you will only be eligible for an ignition interlock-restricted license for 10 years.
Protecting your rights
If you have been charged with a DUI, you will need to face the consequences but you must also make sure that your rights are protected. With the right support, you can have peace of mind that your rights will be protected so that you can move on in your life and get back onto the path that you have set for yourself so that you can look to a brighter future.