Under what circumstances is it important to hire a Criminal Law Attorney in Williston ND, for a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol? Many people, facing their first DUI offense, decide to simply accept the consequences. Even then, however, hiring an attorney would be to their advantage. They would stand a better chance of receiving a lesser penalty than might otherwise be assessed since judges have a lot of leeway in sentencing. Lawyers know strategies to bring about the best results in a case.
When more serious DUI charges are filed, a Criminal Law Attorney in Williston ND, becomes especially important, as North Dakota takes drunk driving very seriously. The state mandates minimum penalties for multiple offenses within a certain time frame and for other DUI-related incidents. A judge might impose an even harsher penalty.
For example, a second DUI conviction within seven years in North Dakota has a mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence. The individual may be released to go to work but has to spend the rest of the time locked in a cell. Driver’s license suspensions last for one or two years depending on the blood alcohol content that was determined.
When a third offense within seven years occurs, hiring a Criminal Law Attorney is even more important. If convicted, the individual is subject to a mandatory 120 days of incarceration, a full year of supervised probation, a fine of $2,000, and a driver’s license suspension of two or three years. A lawyer from a firm such as Beardsley Jensen & Lee may be able to have the charges reduced by the prosecuting attorney’s office. This usually involves a charge of reckless driving after drinking, commonly called “wet reckless.” It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for an individual without legal representation to convince a prosecutor to lower a DUI charge to wet reckless.
Other charges with severe consequences if convicted in North Dakota include drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle or causing any type of accident. Causing injury to someone else or property damage can prompt a judge to issue a stiff sentence upon conviction. Having skilled legal representation is essential.