Collateral Consequences of a Delaware DUI
Even if you have never been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Delaware, you are probably aware of the potential penalties. The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles describes a few of the criminal punishments for a conviction, including possible jail time and fines ranging from $500 to $1,5000. Plus, there are sanctions related to your driver’s license, which may be suspended for a year or longer depending on your history.
However, what you might not realize is that a DUI can carry implications far beyond the criminal and administrative penalties. There are so-called collateral consequences that may linger and affect your life in ways that you never expected. Fortunately, it may be possible to avoid a harsh outcome with help from a Wilmington driving under the influence (DUI) lawyer who will advocate on your behalf during the proceedings. Some general information on the topic may also be useful.
Understanding Collateral Consequences of a DUI Conviction: After you serve your sentence in a criminal drunk driving case and your license is reinstated through the administrative process, the matter remains part of your criminal record. Collateral consequences are the separate impacts, limitations, and legal disabilities that affect your life – financially, professionally, and personally.
Delaware recognizes that being convicted of DUI could impact the safety or interests of others, even long after your case is resolved. Protection of the public is the reason that lawmakers have included restrictions in numerous non-criminal areas. Note that a drunk driving conviction is not an offense that qualifies for discretionary expungement, so a pardon is the only way to remove it from your record.
How Collateral Consequences Impact Your Life: The implications of a DUI conviction may affect employment, business opportunities, and your personal freedoms. A few of the most harmful collateral consequences include:
- The costs involved with getting your driver’s license back, including the required alcohol education and treatment programs;
- Paying for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which enables you to legally drive under certain circumstances – if you qualify;
- Being unable to drive for work, family, and personal reasons if you are not eligible for an IID and restricted driving privileges;
- A suspension or revocation of your professional license, if you work in an occupation that takes criminal history into account;
- An immediate “out of service” order for 24 hours, if you are a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holder;
- Issues for immigration status, possibly leading to removal, deportation, and ineligibility to become a US citizen;
- Problems for child custody or visitation, when transportation is associated with exercising your parental rights;
- Having a DUI in your history for purposes of the “look back” period, which is 10 years in the event that you face subsequent drunk driving charges.
Consult with a Delaware DUI Defense Attorney About Your Options
If you were arrested on drunk driving charges and want to know more about strategies to minimize collateral consequences, please contact the Wilmington, DE offices of defense attorney Michael W. Modica. You can call 302.600.1262 or complete an online form to request a free consultation. Once we assess your circumstances, we can work to ensure the best possible outcome in your DUI case.