As a resident of Mississippi who has recently been charged with a DUI, it’s important to be familiar with state DUI laws. Some states can be more lenient than others. M. Darin Vance, Attorney at Law, explains that Mississippi actually has some of the strictest DUI-related laws and penalties for those convicted.
In this state, even first-time offenders can be harshly penalized. You risk having your license suspended for a period of time. In addition, your fines and court fees can be costly. You may even have to pay to attend a mandatory education program that you must pay out of pocket for.
As a second-time offender, you will also face the possibility of jail time in addition to all of the aforementioned penalties. The duration of the sentence will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of your arrest, as well as whether or not any other crimes were committed. This can include causing property damage, physically harming another person, or driving with a minor in the vehicle.
The latter can cause your charge to be bumped up to a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Additionally, a third DUI conviction (or higher) will automatically be considered a felony. As felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors, they can have a bigger impact on your life. They may affect your insurance rates for a longer time and even interfere with your ability to get a job or find housing.
Have you been charged with a DUI-related crime in Mississippi? As you can see, the penalties if you are convicted can be quite harsh. For that reason, you may want to talk to an experienced attorney to see what your options are.