If you get stopped by police for suspected impaired driving and then arrested, embarrassment and frustration are common emotional responses. Even if you don’t believe that your blood alcohol concentration justified an arrest or criminal charges, you might consider pleading guilty just to avoid court and potentially reduce the consequences that you face from a conviction.
A plea may seem like the fastest and easy way to put this difficult chapter of your life behind you, but all it really does is ensure that you will have to deal with the consequences of that charge for many years. Before you make a mistake that you can’t take back, you should learn more about the consequences you’ll face other than criminal penalties.
A criminal record can haunt you everywhere you go
The day where people worked at the same job for their entire adult life and then retire from that company has long since passed. Many people change jobs several times in a decade, seeking advancement and improved pay.
You might not notice much impact from your impaired driving charge on your life until you have to pass a background check for a job that would offer you substantial career advancement. Suddenly, potential employers won’t return your phone call or let you know that you don’t meet the requirements although you are certain that you made the shortlist because of your experience and references.
The same thing could very well happen when you apply for a new rental home or if you seek enrollment in an institution of higher education. A conviction can prevent you from benefiting from opportunities that present themselves in the future.
A guilty plea will affect your freedoms and finances for years
A drunk driving conviction carries the mandatory suspension of your license, with the length of the suspension reflecting the previous offenses on your record and any aggravating factors at the time of your arrest.
You may already have a plan in place to overcome the hardship that losing your license entails, which could include unreliable transportation options that make you late for work and endanger your job. What you may not have considered is the long-term effects of a drunk driving conviction on your insurance rates after you get your license back. You may have to budget for another $800 a year in insurance costs alone.
Fighting a drunk driving charge can help you avoid the loss of your license and the hardship that comes with an impaired driving conviction.