If you have been charged with drunk driving in Jackson, Mississippi, it is important to understand that you are innocent until proven guilty. You have a right to your day in court. Officers must prove that they had reason, commonly called “probable cause,” to stop you and must provide sufficient evidence to support their case. While the police are lawfully authorized to request you to submit to a breath test if you are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol, you also have important rights under the law. Being convicted of drunk driving comes with serious consequences, that include having a criminal record, losing your driver’s license, facing jail time, and facing collateral consequences that can include higher insurance premiums, difficulty getting certain jobs due to having a criminal record, and denial of certain government benefits.
You can be arrested if an officer believes you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under Mississippi law, you can face a drunk driving charge if your blood alcohol concentration was found to be 0.08 percent or higher. Unlike other states, Mississippi doesn’t impose higher penalties for drivers who had higher percentages of alcohol in their systems. However, if you are under age 21, you could be charged with a DUI if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent. Additionally, if you drive in Mississippi, you are subject to the state’s implied consent laws. This means that if an officer believes you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be required to submit to a breath or blood test or run the risk of losing your driver’s license if you refuse to comply with the officer’s requests.
If you have been charged with a DUI, Ballard Law, PLLC is a drunk driving attorney in Jackson, Mississippi who can help you fight your DUI charges. There may be several defenses available to you, or you may be able to reduce your charges with a plea deal. Contact Ballard Law today to learn more.
What are the Consequences of a DUI in Mississippi?
If you are found guilty of a DUI in Mississippi, and this is your first-time DUI, you could face some serious penalties. Subsequent DUI charges carry more serious penalties. The penalties for a first-time DUI in Mississippi include:
- Possible 90 days’ license suspension.
- A fine of $250.00-$1,000.00
- Suspension of commercial driving privileges
- Drug and Alcohol Education, Assessment, and Treatment
These are some of the immediate legal consequences you can face upon your conviction. There may be collateral consequences to having a criminal DUI on your record. Collateral consequences are not imposed by the law, but may be imposed by society and other groups upon individuals who have a DUI. These consequences can include:
- Loss of your job or difficulty getting a job in certain fields in the future (particularly jobs involving driving)
- You could run the risk of losing your professional license
- You could lose your scholarship if you are a student
- You could lose access to certain federal programs for housing, food, and financial aid for school
- Your insurance premiums will increase
- Your reputation could be damaged
- You could face much higher consequences should you be arrested for a DUI again in the future
If you are facing DUI charges, the consequences you could be facing might be immense. Your reputation, your good record, and your ability to drive and enjoy other freedoms could be on the line. You need a drunk driving law firm on your side. Ballard Law, PLLC is a drunk driving law firm in Jackson, Mississippi who may be able to assist you with getting your charges reduced or dropped. In some cases, you may be able to enter an alcohol treatment program to avoid the worst consequences of a DUI, like jail time.
Sometimes individuals are wrongfully charged with a DUI. Some individuals may have illnesses or other conditions that make them appear drunk when they are not drunk. Others may have been wrongfully stopped by the police, making any evidence that officers gathered not admissible in court. What are some valid DUI defenses?
- Officers failed to take into account medical conditions that could have made you appear drunk. Some conditions can make people fail field sobriety tests. If you can show that a medical condition may have made officers believe you were drunk when you were not drinking, your charges might be dropped.
- Chain of evidence issues. If officers used a defective breathalyzer or failed to provide results of a blood alcohol test in a timely manner, the results could be dropped. The timeline when officers test you can also impact how the results are interpreted in court.
Ballard Law, PLLC is a drunk driving lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi who can review the evidence against you and who can help you fight your charges or get your charged reduced. If officers made mistakes or if evidence is faulty, you might be able to fight your charges. Contact our drunk driving law firm today to learn more about your options and rights.