Getting a DUI for the first time could be a scary time for you. You know that drunk driving is a serious crime, and you may be waiting for a Mississippi judge to throw the book at you. Fortunately, state law is specific about how a judge can sentence a first-time DUI offender.
Mississippi law allows for a variety of outcomes for a first-offense DUI conviction. Depending on your case, it is not impossible to avoid some punishments.
A judge might levy a fine against you. According to state law, you cannot pay less than $250. However, the law also caps a fine for a first-time offense at $1,000. Depending on your financial situation, a fine closer to the maximum could be burdensome, so it is important to see if you can incur a low fine.
Time in jail
You could end up with a jail sentence in addition to or instead of a fine. However, state law does not permit a first-time offender to serve more than 48 hours in jail. In fact, it is possible that a court could put aside jail time and have you attend a victim impact panel instead.
Another outcome is that you do not face sentencing or even a guilty conviction. If your case qualifies, the court may place you in a nonadjudication program. By completing the terms of the program, you could avoid a DUI conviction, which will keep it off your criminal record.
Knowing what may lie ahead for you in court could help you understand your legal options going forward.