By Jedidiah McKeehan
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal charges in the United States. Individuals cannot seem to resist consuming alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle.
Being convicted of a DUI has very serious implications. Not only will you have to serve jail time, you will also lose your license for a period of time, be on probation, and pay thousands of dollars in court costs and fees. There are other things you will have to do as well, related to a DUI conviction, but those are the big ones.
When you are charged with a DUI, that does necessarily mean that you will be convicted of a DUI. It is critical that you hire an attorney to help you obtain the best result that you possibly can in regard to your DUI charge.
You may have heard that a DUI charge can get reduced to the lesser charge of reckless driving. When a charge is reduced, that means that the District Attorney (DA) who is prosecuting the case has agreed to allow the Defendant, the person charged with the crime, to plead guilty to a less serious charge than the charge on which they were originally arrested. This happens in lots and lots of cases.
However, DUI charges are not often reduced. Usually, if someone is charged with a DUI charge, they will need to show the DA a really good reason why the charge should be reduced, or perhaps even dismissed.
If the DUI charge is reduced to a reckless driving charge, and the Defendant completes all of the terms of their probation after they plead guilty, then a reckless driving charge is able to be expunged. When a charge is expunged, that means the state and court system completely wipes away the charge and conviction from its records. In the eyes of the law, once a charge is expunged, that charge never happened.
However, if you are, in fact, convicted of a DUI, that charge is non-expungable. It will stay on your record forever. There is no way to expunge a DUI conviction.
A charge that is often a companion charge to a DUI is an Implied Consent charge. Implied Consent means that when you were arrested and charged with DUI, the officer asked whether you would voluntarily give a blood draw to determine your blood alcohol level and you refused to give that blood draw. If you do refuse the request to voluntarily give blood, you will be charged with an Implied Consent charge.
If you are later convicted of Implied Consent, that is a charge that can be later expunged.
Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information.