First DUI Offense in South Dakota: What to Expect
Drinking and driving is never a wise decision, but when you wind up with a DUI, it needn’t be the end of the world. Authorities naturally take charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances seriously, but mistakes can be made, and with proper representation by a qualified DUI defense attorney, you have the opportunity to minimize the impact of DUI charges, especially for a first offense.
Your ability to fight DUI charges may depend on several factors, such as your level of intoxication (blood alcohol level, or BAC), the steps law enforcement took to assess your state, and the relative reliability of equipment used for testing, just for example. The point is, you don’t want to go it alone. You need a DUI specialist who understands the law to help you through the process. What can you expect when you are charged with your first DUI offense in South Dakota? Here’s what you need to know.
South Dakota DUI Laws
There are a couple of thin
gs you should understand about South Dakota DUI laws. First and foremost, it’s important that you know that DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while impaired) are not restricted to alcohol use. If you are pulled over and an officer suspects you’ve been using alcohol, marijuana, or any other drugs (including prescription) that could impair your ability to operate a vehicle, you can be tested and charged.
Keep in mind, any comments you make during a field sobriety test are not protected by the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, so always be careful to say as little as possible when you’re asked to participate in such testing.
Court Procedure and Penalties
When you receive a DUI, you will have the opportunity to appear in court and contest it. You need an experienced DUI attorney Sioux Falls by your side to guide you through the process. A qualified drunk driving attorney can help you to fight charges and negotiate penalties to minimize the impact to your life in the event that you are not successful in contesting the charge.
Common penalties for first-time DUI offenders include having your license revoked for a minimum of 30 days, up to a $2,000 fine, and a maximum of up to a year in jail. When you lose your driving privileges in Sioux Falls, your attorney can argue for a work permit for you. Most of the time, the court will require participation in 24/7 program. This means you will have to blow PBTs at the jail two times a day, register for a scram ankle bracelet or install an interlock device in your car. An attorney can help set up these options for you. Your DUI lawyer Sioux Falls will do everything possible to avoid conviction, but if all else fails, you’ll need assistance negotiating for a reduced sentence.
Because there is no minimum sentence in South Dakota, you may be able to avoid the worst penalties and request something like participation in a counseling program to minimize the risk of further DUI incidents, just for example. Your attorney is the key to lighter sentencing and coming out of this legal proceeding relatively unscathed.