Every year around Christmas and New Year's Eve, law enforcement on the Mississippi Gulf Coast cracks down on drunk drivers. And every year, countless people end up facing the serious consequences that come along with a DUI conviction.
While some of these drivers were, in fact, impaired, many others were wrongfully accused thanks to overzealous police officers who are out to make a certain number of arrests. In fact, officers have been known to arrest individuals who are well below the legal limit of .08 BAC.
Talk to an experienced attorney right away
No matter if you think you were wrongfully accused of drunk driving or you are willing to admit that you made a huge mistake, you will need an effective lawyer on your side to avoid the harshest DWI/DUI consequences.
As you may already know, Mississippi comes down hard on drunk drivers, even on the first offense. You could face serious fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, a permanent criminal record, increased insurance rates, and required ignition interlock device installation.
Your lawyer will investigate the facts surrounding your case and look for any and all possible defenses that could work in your favor. If a full dismissal is not possible, your lawyer will work with prosecutors to reach a favorable plea agreement. Your lawyer can also handle the administrative license revocation process, increasing your chances of keeping your license.
Know your rights under the new DUI law
As we discussed in a past post, major changes were made to Mississippi's DUI laws in 2014. Ultimately, under the new laws, people who are convicted of a first-time offense DUI may be eligible to have the conviction removed from their records after meeting certain requirements. This results in a clean record and no insurance consequences, which could save you thousands.
Going through this process can be extremely difficult, though, without a lawyer on your side.
The bottom line is that if you have been charged with drunk driving in Mississippi, then your future is at risk. You need to speak with a trustworthy lawyer as soon as possible in order to put forth your best defense and make sure your rights are protected.
Special note for members of the military
Alcohol-related offenses such as DUI/DWI can result in a loss of security clearance, which is why they must be handled right away. Talk to an attorney with experience representing members of the military for information on the consequences that you face and how you may be able to avoid them.