Accused of Driving Under the Influence?
Know When You Need Legal Representation of a DUI Lawyer
Our Florence DUI lawyer knows that situations can turn from good to bad in an instant. Imagine this: You are out with friends and family, enjoying each other’s company. On your way home, you are pulled over by police and charged with driving under the influence. Does this scenario, or one similar to it, sound familiar? If so, you may be worried about what happens next.
Your concerns are not unfounded. The state of Mississippi takes driving under the influence charges quite seriously. In fact, punishments for those convicted range from fines to suspension or loss of license to prison time.
If you find yourself in this position, obtaining the advice and counsel of a DUI lawyer is absolutely in your best interest.
Working with a professional who understands the state laws, the procedures regarding these cases, and the local court system can help you avoid the most severe consequences.
Contact a DUI attorney at Ringer, Lingold & Spencer today at (601) 845-5050 for advice and counsel on your specific situation. Act quickly to avoid license suspension.
How Did I Get a DUI?
Our DUI Lawyers Help You Understand Mississippi DUI Laws
Most people don’t intend to drive drunk. In fact, many who are accused of driving under the influence in Mississippi do so inadvertently. Let’s face it, the vast majority of people don’t intentionally put others at risk.
According to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Mississippi, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or above, or if you are under 21 and it is .02 or higher, you can be arrested and charged with DUI. To put this into perspective, you may become legally intoxicated after only one or two drinks. A number of factors can influence your BAC, including:
- Your Weight: In general, the same amount of alcohol will have a greater effect on someone weighing 200 pounds than another weighing 170.
- Consumption Rate: The faster you drink, the higher your BAC.
- Your Metabolism: The rate at which the body can metabolize alcohol differs from person to person. Your own metabolism – which may be different from that of your friend — influences how alcohol affects you.
- Strength of Your Drink: Not all drinks are created equal, and the alcohol content can vary depending upon what you are drinking and even who mixes your drink.
Other things that may contribute to how alcohol impacts you include any medication you may be taking, whether or not you have eaten, and even your anxiety level. Understanding these, it is easy to see how even one or two drinks can hinder your ability to drive and cause your BAC to reach an unacceptable level.
DUI Penalties in Mississippi
If you have been accused of driving under the influence, engaging a DUI defense lawyer in Florence should be your first course of action. You must protect yourself. The penalties for conviction are severe.
First Offense Administrative and Criminal Penalties may include:
- Suspension of your Driver’s License for a minimum of 120 days
- Mandatory completion of MASEP*
- $175 License Reinstatement Fee
- Restricted Driver’s License/Ignition Interlock
- Filed Financial Responsibility (SR 22) for three years
- Jail Time of 48 hours
- Fines ranging from $250 to $1,000
- Mandatory Alcohol Safety Program (completion in 6 months)
- $56 Driver’s License hardship request fee.
*MASEP is the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program. It costs $200 to participate in the program.
If you are convicted of a second offense within five years of your first, the administration and criminal penalties are even harsher. Penalties for a third, fourth, or subsequent offense have even more severe penalties. Should your DUI cause an accident, injury, or death, penalties may be even more harsh. Here are the penalties for convictions after a first offense, as defined in Mississippi Code §63-11-30:
Second offense DUI.
(i) Upon any second conviction of any person violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, fined not less than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) nor more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), shall be imprisoned not less than five (5) days nor more than six (6) months and sentenced to community service work for not less than ten (10) days nor more than six (6) months. The minimum penalties shall not be suspended or reduced by the court and no prosecutor shall offer any suspension or sentence reduction as part of a plea bargain.
Third offense DUI.
(i) For a third conviction of a person for violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, the person shall be guilty of a felony and fined not less than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and shall serve not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections. For any offense that does not result in serious injury or death to any person, the sentence of incarceration may be served in the county jail rather than in the State Penitentiary at the discretion of the circuit court judge. The minimum penalties shall not be suspended or reduced by the court and no prosecutor shall offer any suspension or sentence reduction as part of a plea bargain.
Fourth and subsequent offense DUI.
(i) For any fourth or subsequent conviction of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, without regard to the time period within which the violations occurred, the person shall be guilty of a felony and fined not less than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and shall serve not less than two (2) years nor more than ten (10) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Experienced Lawyer for DUIs Provides Answers
Being charged with a DUI is serious. The consequences can affect you for the rest of your life. Those facing a DUI often have a considerable number of questions. While the answers to many depend upon the individual circumstances surrounding each case, some responses apply to everyone. Below, the DUI attorney from Ringer, Lingold & Spencer addresses those issues.
Should I hire a DUI attorney?
When should I contact a DUI attorney?
What do police officers believe are signs of DUI?
Can my DUI be expunged?
For answers to your additional questions, contact the DUI lawyers at Ringer, Lingold & Spencer today at (601) 845-5050.
Mississippi Proud. Winning Results.
Developing Successful DUI Defense Strategies
Your best chance of avoiding the severe consequences associated with a DUI charge is by working with a reputable and skilled DUI attorney. This professional can help build your defense.
An arrest for driving under the influence does not mean you will be convicted. Your DUI lawyer will review your case and develop a sound defense. Some strategies he or she may leverage include proving:
- Illegal traffic stop or absence of probable cause
- Inappropriate sobriety testing
- Improper sample testing (waiting too long to take blood, storing samples incorrectly, etc.)
- Presence of medical conditions whose side-effects mimic DUI
- Miranda violations.
Simply being pulled over and arrested does not mean you are guilty. Work with an established professional to determine the best DUI strategy for your specific situation.
Why You Should Contact Our Ringer, Lingold & Spencer DUI Lawyers
Ringer, Lingold & Spencer is an established Mississippi law firm. We live here, work here, love here. In short, we are committed to the local community and dedicated to providing those involved in criminal defense cases with top-notch legal representation. We have a proven record of success and have developed a reputation for compassionate and quality service. With over 73 years of combined experience, our partners and staff are well-versed in all aspects of DUI law.
Everyone deserves a quality defense. Our Florence DUI lawyers appreciate that sometimes bad things happen. We work tirelessly for our clients, advocating for them throughout all of their legal proceedings. Our goal is to have charges dismissed. That said, when this is not possible, we do everything we can to mitigate their impact on your life.
Our experience as prosecutors provides us a unique perspective. We know how the state approaches DUI cases. We leverage this knowledge on your behalf.
Our Florence DUI attorneys actively listen to your experience, investigate your case and building a solid defense. Your well-being is our primary concern, and we aggressively protect it throughout the legal process.
If you have been arrested for DUI, don’t wait. Contact us today at (601) 845-5050. We are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you immediately. Protecting your future is our ultimate goal.