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Mississippi DUI laws are very strict on anyone who drives while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need to take your case seriously. And you don’t want to fight the charges alone. Your first call should be to an experienced Mississippi DUI lawyer who can give you a proper defense in court to ensure your rights are protected.
But hiring a lawyer doesn’t give you a pass to sit idly on the sidelines while your lawyer does all the work. Remember, it’s your fate that hangs in the balance. So, take an active interest in your DUI case by spending time learning more about Mississippi DUI laws. When you’re armed with information, you’ll be able to monitor your case more effectively.
The first thing you need to know is that Mississippi has a 10 day rule in effect for DUI cases. What this means is that you have just 10 days after your arrest to file a petition to save your license. That’s why it’s so important to get a Mississippi DUI lawyer in your corner as quickly as possible.
Mississippi DUI cases are tried under 2 basic methods. First, individuals can be charged according to per-se theory. To explain, this means that any individual caught driving a vehicle while having a BAC of .08% or higher is considered drunk by law. While this seems fairly black and white, the truth is tests aren’t as reliable as you might think, and this evidence doesn’t always hold up in court.
The other way you can be charged with a DUI is a bit more subjective. In some cases, evidence such as how you perform on field sobriety tests, your driving patterns, and your traffic stop behavior play a role in determining whether or not you receive a DUI. Of course, anyone can see that this evidence is highly subjective, and it should always be challenged for veracity by your Mississippi DUI lawyer.
In Mississippi, the penalties for a DUI get more severe with each additional offense. In other words, a first time offender will be punished less severely than someone with 3 prior DUIs. What follows are the guidelines for Mississippi DUI penalties.
First time DUI offenders receive fines up to $1000. They will also spend at least 48 hours in jail, and their driver’s license could be taken away for about a year.
If you’re a second time DUI offender in Mississippi, your license could be taken away for 2 full years. Your car could also be impounded, and you could spend anywhere from 5 days to one year in jail. On this offense, your fines will go up to $1,500 (not including other court fees and related expenses.)
On your third DUI offense, the penalties are even more severe. You’ll be charged with a felony, and you could serve up to 5 years in state prison. Your license will be taken away for 5 years; your vehicle will become government property, and you’ll be fined up to $5,000.
Your penalties may also be enhanced if you refused testing.
With the looming potential of severe DUI penalties, the need for a Mississippi DUI lawyer is apparent. Find an attorney who specializes in this area of the law as they are best equipped to manage your case. Also, make sure to give your lawyer all the facts surrounding your case as every piece of evidence is vital.
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