Many times a client comes into my office asking: “Will I go to jail for DUI?”
Most times, the person has a prior conviction and has some knowledge of the law.
They know that if they have a:
- second conviction within five years there is a mandatory 10 day jail sentence.
- that a third offense within 10 years carries a minimum 30 day jail sentence or can be filed by the State Attorney’s Office as a Felony.
- What they don’t know is that each case is fact driven and they may not even have to do a day in jail.
Here’s why. It is the State’s burden to prove that your offense is punishable as a second or third or fifth offense. Often times they look at your RAP sheet and automatically offer jail because it appears that the prior took place within the five or ten year limit.
But sometimes they are wrong about the date of offense or can’t actually prove that the offense took place as shown. For example, some states actually allow people to do a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program on DUI charges and the case is dismissed after it is completed. This dismissal may not be reflected on a RAP sheet. The State would be wrong for offering a 10 day jail sentence for a second DUI because there was actually no conviction!
An even better example is when an individual has multiple convictions from out of State and there is either no final disposition on the RAP sheet or the dates of offense are very close to the five or ten year limits. In these cases, the State may offer a deal without any jail at all because they are unwilling or unable to obtain a certified judgment and sentence proving the date of offense.
Unless you hire a DUI attorney who knows what to look for, you could go to jail. DUI arrests are all different, and there are often mistakes made. Don’t just plea. Call us today for a free consultation.