While you never thought it could happen, you were arrested for driving under the influence. At present, the most sensible thing that you can do is to hire a DUI lawyer and prepare to go to court. Quite a few things can happen if you are convicted, according to R.Tsang, Toronto DUI lawyer from MassTsang. The outcome may be more severe if you have prior convictions. In any event, it pays to be prepared for all or most of the following to happen if the court does decide you’re guilty as charged.
1. Losing Your Driving Privileges
While you expect to pay fines, losing your privilege to drive is not something you thought about until the lawyer brought it up. In fact, there’s a good chance that you may lose those privileges for some amount of time. The duration of that loss depends a great deal on the circumstances surrounding the case, the amount of discretion the current laws allow the judge and the way you present yourself to the court.
Your lawyer will provide you with facts about the most likely scenario based on the details of your case. Be prepared to find alternative ways to get around for a time, like public transport or using some rideshare service.
2. Spending Time Taking Court Ordered Classes
If convicted, part of the judgment may be that you must take court-approved classes and complete them. These may focus primarily on drunk driving education classes, but they may include remedial driving courses as well. The latter is particularly true if your driving privileges are revoked.
Keep in mind that you don’t get to select courses on your own. The court will have a listing of approved courses that you may choose from. Look closely at the schedules for each, since some of the classes may be offered at night or on weekends. That would allow you to complete those classes without having to miss any more time at work.
3. Serving Jail Time
Speaking of work, you may have to be away for a time. That’s because the judge may determine that you need to spend some time in jail. As with other aspects of the case, spending time behind bars may be mandatory depending on what sort of offenses you’ve been charged with in years past. If this is your second offense within ten years, the judge will likely require that you serve 30 days in jail, along with the fines and the mandatory classes.
4. Losing Your Job
Not everyone who is convicted of a DUI loses a job over the event. Even if you have to serve some time in jail, it’s not unusual for an employer to hold a position open if possible. A lot has to do with the nature of your job and how the DUI affects your ability to remain effective in that position.
If the DUI conviction renders you incapable of fulfilling your job responsibilities either because of confidentiality concerns or because of the sensitive information that you handle on a regular basis, your employer may choose to replace you. Don’t automatically assume that your job position is protected. While that’s true in many instances, there are circumstances that would allow your employer to terminate your employment and fill it with someone who has all the required qualifications.
5. No Longer Eligible for Certain Promotions
Perhaps your employer has no desire to let you go. That means you will still be able to earn a living. One thing that may change is that you will no longer be considered for certain types of promotions. That may not be a problem if you see yourself happily remaining in the same position for a long time. It can be frustrating when you want to advance your career.
Remember that employers consider the amount of risk involved with offering open positions to anyone. That includes employees who are already a part of the organization. Should your DUI conviction indicate that you lack some quality that’s required for that position, don’t be surprised if someone else is offered the job.
6. Trouble Finding Work
In the best-case scenario, you have an employer who feels the conviction does not affect the quality of your work or your reputation within the company structure. That means you get to keep your current job and may be eligible for promotions in the future. As long as your employer remains in business, you don’t have to worry about how to earn a living.
What happens if the employer goes out of business? Even with a stellar recommendation and an impressive amount of time spent with that last employer, your conviction for driving under the influence could undermine the efforts to secure work with another company. When the background checks are conducted, and the DUI is found, some employers may ask a few questions and then consider the matter closed. Others will feel that the conviction disqualifies you from consideration.
The bottom line is that you may find it difficult to secure another job that provides the same level of benefits and income as the last one. Be prepared to spend some time settling for something else even as you continue the search for work that’s more in keeping with what you once had.
7. Dealing With Higher Insurance Rates
You can bet that a conviction of this type will lead to higher insurance rates. If this is not the first time that you’ve been convicted, the current auto insurance provider may consider you to be too much of a risk. The result is that you will be shopping for new coverage.
You will likely find a high-risk auto insurance provider who will do business with you. Be prepared to pay rates that are significantly higher than in the past. Those higher rates help to offset some of the risks that the provider takes on by extending coverage to you. It will be some time before you can expect to receive more competitive pricing.
These are only some of the things that you will have to deal with after a DUI conviction. Work closely with your lawyer and see what can be done to receive whatever leniency the court can by law extend. Rest assured that your legal counsel will do everything legally possible to convince the court to dismiss the case or at least approve charges for a lesser crime.