Getting accused of driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious allegation in Mississippi. The penalties include fines, jail time and license suspensions. Your driving history and the situation leading to the DUI charges will influence what penalties you face.
There will be more serious consequences for those who cause crashes, property damage or injury to others. Still, even a traffic stop that results in a DUI could lead to life-altering consequences.
How will Mississippi sentence you for a DUI?
Every DUI offense increases the penalties involved. A first offense in Mississippi could mean up to $1,000 in fines and 48 hours in jail. You will also lose your license for between 30 and 90 days. After you do get your license back, you will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in every vehicle you will drive for the next 90 days.
If you get arrested for a second offense within five years, the penalties get worse. You could spend between five days and a year in state custody. The maximum fine increases to $1,500, and the license suspension will last for at least 45 days. The state will probably impound your vehicle during your suspension unless they order you to install an IID in your vehicle instead. In that case, you will have to maintain the IID in your vehicle for a year even after you get your license back.
Third offenses carry unignorable penalties. You will face imprisonment for up to five years and fines up between $2,000 and $5,000. The state could seize your vehicle and sell it. You will also lose your license for two years, after which you will need to have an IID in your vehicle for three years. With a fourth DUI, the penalties go up again. You could face up to 10 years in prison, $10,000 in fines and a five-year suspension of your license.
How to avoid a fourth DUI conviction?
The best way to avoid a fourth DUI conviction is to not put yourself in a position where one is possible. Fighting back against even a first DUI charge helps minimize your risk of facing more serious penalties in the future. If you already have several DUI offenses on your recent driving record, defending yourself becomes that much more important.
Exploring all of your options for fighting a DUI charge can help you avoid the worst penalties associated with a conviction.