As the saying goes, "To err is human." That statement often applies to many circumstances in which you may find yourself, including behind the wheel after having a bit too much to drink. Perhaps you felt as though you were okay to drive, but the numbers during a breath test may say differently.
You may decide that accepting a misdemeanor conviction for DUI is better than dealing with court hearings and the other inconveniences that come with a criminal case, but you may want to rethink that decision. The consequences of that decision could affect you long-term.
The unintended consequences to your life
Wanting to put an end to the process behind a misdemeanor DUI by accepting your fate could cause the following unintended consequences that could follow you for years to come:
- A misdemeanor DUI shows up on a background check. When you apply for a new job, a college scholarship or financial aid, that entry on your record could cost you what you seek even years after the incident took place.
- Your status with your insurance company changes as well. You could end up paying exorbitant rates because the company now considers you a "high risk" insured.
- You could lose your driver's license for a certain period of time. This makes getting to work, to the grocery store and to your children's extracurricular activities challenging. If you can't get to work, you could lose your job, which could put a significant amount of strain on your personal life as well.
- Your employer may not be sympathetic. Being consistently late due to not having a driver's license, taking time off for court dates, jail time and other obligations connected to the charge may not sit well with your employer.
- Depending on your chosen profession, your colleagues, clients and others may view you differently. This could affect your ability to do your job.
Your personal relationships could suffer as well, especially if those closest to you make more out of your situation than it really may be. The tension could irreparably damage your relationships.
Trying to keep your life on track
As you can see, every DUI charge needs to be taken seriously. It may be possible to avoid a conviction and most, if not all, of the consequences associated with it, especially if this is your first offense. Knowing that you have more at stake than you thought at first, it may be worthwhile to obtain an understanding of your rights and legal options before making any decisions regarding how to deal with the charges.