Ballard Law, PLLC is a drunk driving lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi who can evaluate the circumstances of your DUI arrest, look at your driving record, and determine what next steps you may need to take to protect your rights. The consequences of a first-time DUI conviction can include 48 hours in jail, fines up to $1000, mandatory alcohol education, assessment, and treatment, license suspension of at least 90 days, possible confiscation of your vehicle, and possible required use of an ignition interlock device—a device which requires drivers to submit to a BAC breath test each and every time the driver gets behind the wheel. If you are facing DUI charges, you might wonder whether there is any way you can avoid conviction or avoid some of the more serious consequences of a DUI. Officers are given a range of powers when they stop a person who has been suspected of drinking and driving. Officers can suspend a person’s license automatically if the individual refuses to submit to a breath or blood test, and refusal to take a test could be used as evidence that a driver was drinking and driving. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is still important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. There are certainly cases where officers make mistakes in stopping drivers wrongfully, or where officers have mishandled the chain of evidence, or wrongfully accused individuals of drunk driving.
However, if the state’s evidence is very strong, you may still have some options to avoid the worst consequences of a DUI. For example, Ballard Law, PLLC is a drunk driving lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi who, after reviewing your situation, may be able to petition the court for reduced charges or request that you be sent to an alcohol treatment program or diversion program instead of jail. The consequences of having a DUI conviction on your record can be very serious. A DUI could increase your insurance and could potentially impact other aspects of your life. However, with the assistance of a drunk driving lawyer, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped.
The Benefits of Alcohol Treatment Programs in Mississippi
The Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program MASEP has performed extensive research on the types of drivers and drinkers who are more likely to be charged with DUIs. Originally, it was believed that a lack of knowledge about the risks of drunk driving were the underlying reasons why individuals consumed alcohol and got behind the wheel. Further research showed that individuals who have been charged with drunk driving are more likely to be problem drinkers. The MASEP program, which is required for all DUI offenders in Mississippi, is designed to assess an individual’s drinking habits and determine whether he or she has a problem. The program is designed to help individuals evaluate the effects that drugs and alcohol have had on their lives and develop a DUI prevention plan.
However, for some individuals, MASEP may not be enough, especially if the individual understands that drinking is a problem. Some individuals who are facing their first DUI charge may realize that they have a problem with drinking and may want to enroll in drug and alcohol treatment programs. Because the research indicates that treating the underlying drinking problem has been shown to prevent repeat DUI offenses, a judge may be willing to accept a plea deal or reduce a person’s charges if he or she agrees to seek drug and alcohol treatment. For many individuals, a DUI is a wake-up call. The willingness to seek help might be viewed favorably by the court.
Plea deals might not be available to all individuals facing drunk driving charges, but if you are facing charges, you may want to speak to a drunk driving lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi like Ballard Law, PLLC. Our law firm can review your case, review the circumstances of your arrest, look at your drinking history and driving record, and help you understand what options may be available to you. You are not alone.
Seek Help Today
For many individuals with their first-time drunk driving charge, jail time alone won’t prevent them from drinking and driving again. When individuals have a drinking problem, addressing the drinking problem is often the best path forward. If you are facing DUI charges, and the state has a strong case against you, you may still have options under the law to prevent you from facing the most serious consequences. One option might be to attend drug and alcohol treatment programs, attend support groups like AA, and seek help for your drinking. Ballard Law, PLLC is a Jackson, Mississippi drunk driving lawyer who understands that alcoholism is an illness and for some people, treatment is required to stop their drinking and driving. If you have been charged with drinking and driving, you might be frightened and not know what your next steps should be. However, you may have many options under the law. Contact Ballard Law, PLLC today to learn more.