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Can I Face Jail Time if I’m a First-Time DUI Offender?


First-time DUIs are very frightening. You’ve just committed this serious offense that can potentially wreck certain aspects of your life. You’re then thrust into a system that’s bent on punishing you for your offense. However, of everything you fear, the worst is the thought of serving a jail sentence.

Jail time pauses your life for a while. So, we understand when first-time DUI offenders are curious about whether they’ll have to go to jail. It’s always best to hire an Idaho DUI attorney immediately after you’re arrested for a DUI. Even if it’s your first DUI arrest, get a lawyer. An excellent DUI attorney can increase your chances of surviving this terrible experience without going to jail.

Can I Go to Jail for a First Time DUI?

A first-time DUI is the first time you get arrested or if you have no prior convictions. The great news is that Idaho DUI penalties are progressive. This means that you’ll face stiffer penalties as you commit more DUIs. In Idaho, first-time DUI is generally a misdemeanor. So, it carries lesser punishments than a felony DUI. You could pay a fine, face a license suspension, or jail time.

We’ll consider the different possible punishments for first-time DUIs in Idaho below.

  • Fines

If you’re a first-time DUI offender, you may have to pay up to $1,000 in fines. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at 0.20% or higher, your fine might increase up to $2,000.

  • License Suspension

The court can also suspend your license after a first DUI. This license suspension can last for as long as 90 to 210 days. If your BAC was 0.20% or greater, you might have to do without your license for up to a year. Typically, after the first 30 days, the judge can review your license suspension and add extra 60 days or more.

You may also be eligible to drive with a restricted license after the first 30 days. It’s not the best option, but it beats not driving at all. A restricted license can let you drive to meet health and work-related concerns.

  • Imprisonment

Yes, you can go to jail even if it’s your first DUI. Sad as this fact is, it’s the truth. DUIs are serious offenses in Idaho, and the law doesn’t go easy on you because it’s your first time. An Idaho first-time DUI conviction can get you up to six months of jail time. If your BAC is higher than .20%, you can face ten days to one-year imprisonment. Luckily, there’s no mandatory minimum sentence, so a judge can be lenient and not give you a long sentence.

Can I Get My First Time DUI Charges Dropped?

Yes, a good Boise DUI attorney can get the local district attorney to drop the DUI charges against you. It doesn’t matter what the arresting police officers may have said. You may still beat a DUI criminal record. There are many ways a lawyer can get the charges dropped.

For instance, they could undertake a plea bargain with the DA. If you plead to a lesser offense, you can escape jail time for a DUI. You can plead guilty to a reckless driving charge, and depending on the facts of your case; you may escape jail time.

Furthermore, an Idaho DUI attorney can challenge the DA’s evidence and case against you. Your lawyer can challenge the traffic stop. If the police officer that stopped you didn’t have probable cause, it may favorably impact your case. Your attorney can also argue against the field sobriety test and chemical test results that showed your intoxication.

If the tests weren’t administered properly or the results aren’t accurate, the judge may throw out the evidence. If the evidence is thrown out, then there’s no solid case against you anymore. Finally, if your lawyer can convince the court that you weren’t the one driving the vehicle, the court may dismiss the DUI charge.

Boise DUI Lawyers Can Make Your First Arrest Bearable

Whether it’s your first or third DUI arrest, you need the best Idaho DUI lawyers to defend you. Without effective representation, a first-time DUI can end badly for you. It’s also best that you hire a lawyer quickly. Even the best Boise DUI lawyers may be unable to help you if you take too long before reaching out.

Boise DUI lawyers have extensive experience in DUI criminal trials. If you hire our lawyers, we’ll make the best possible criminal defense arguments on your behalf. We have a good track record with our cases. So, you can rest assured that yours won’t be any different. Call us today for a consultation on your case.