20th July 2022
Being charged with a DUI doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to serve the maximum sentence. If you choose the right attorney, you could see that sentence substantially reduced, or possibly even have the charges dropped entirely. While no reputable attorney will ever make any promises, there’s a chance you might not have to face the worst-case scenario you fear.
At Sand Law, we have a team of attorneys with a great deal of experience in representing people who have been charged with a DUI. We won’t tell you that we can definitely reduce your charges, but we will promise that we’ll do everything possible to do just that.
DUI Sentencing in North Dakota
Hiring a skilled attorney is the first thing you should do if you’ve been charged with a DUI. The stakes are just too high to try to face this charge without legal representation. Here’s a quick look at the penalties for DUI in North Dakota
- First Offense. If this is your first offense, and your BAC (blood alcohol content) level was below .16, you’ll be fined $500. The higher your BAC, the worse the penalties will be. If it was .16 or higher, you’ll have to pay $750 and spend two days in jail. You’ll also lose your license for 91 days for a BAC of .18 or lower, and for 180 days for a BAC higher than .18. In addition, you’ll have to submit to an addiction evaluation.
- Second Offense. If this is your second offense, and it was within seven years of the first, you’ll face a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days, at least a one-year suspension of your license (two if your BAC was above .18), and a fine of $1,500. You’ll also have to participate in what’s known as a “24/7” program. This means you’ll either have to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet, or take breathalyzer tests two times a day.
- Third (or More) Offense. The penalties get significantly worse for third or subsequent offenses. Your fines will be higher, your jail sentence will be longer, and you’ll also lose your license for a longer period of time.
How a DUI Defense Attorney Can Have Your Penalty Reduced
As you can see, the potential penalties for a DUI are extremely scary. But again, that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have to resign yourself to having to serve the maximum – you could still have options. Once you’re out on bail or bond, your next step should be to contact an attorney who has experience in DUI defense.
Here are just a few of the ways a skilled attorney may be able to help reduce whatever penalties you face.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney Will Negotiate on Your Behalf
One of the first things your attorney will attempt to do will be to negotiate to reduce your sentence. Sand Law attorneys have the skill and knowledge to do just that.
The prosecutor in your case may offer you a plea deal as a result. This means you’ll plead guilty, and then receive reduced penalties in exchange for that plea. An attorney who has experience in negotiations could help you get a much better deal. If you’ve already received an offer from the prosecutor, your attorney can tell you whether it’s fair, or if there could be room to further reduce the penalties.
Determining the Best Plea for Your DUI/DWI Charge
You will basically have three options when it comes to adjudicating your DUI case. You could plead “Guilty,” “Not Guilty” or “No Contest.” The third plea simply means you don’t agree or disagree with the allegations against you. It’s a way to close your case quickly. One of our attorneys will help you decide which course of action will be the best for your specific situation.
Prevent You from Pleading Guilty too Fast
There are some people charged with a DUI who just want to plead guilty immediately, serve their sentence, and get on with their lives. This might be understandable, but it’s also extremely short-sighted.
Please don’t make any sort of plea until you speak with an attorney. There’s a chance your attorney could negotiate a much better deal for you.
For example, the breathalyzer test you took could have produced faulty results. There could be issues with the field sobriety test you may have taken as well. The arresting officer could have made some sort of mistake, such as failing to read you your Miranda rights, or committing some other type of error that could possibly result in your case being thrown out entirely.
The point is to not simply give up and plead guilty. Again, you have options. Let a skilled attorney explore them. It could very well wind up being one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Sand Law Can Help Reduce Your DUI/DWI Sentence or Penalty
At Sand Law, we know how stressful it can be to face a DUI charge. You’re unsure of what the future will hold, and there’s a very good chance you’re scared of the penalties you might have to pay. But don’t let your uncertainty or fear guide your actions. Talk to one of our attorneys so we can help you determine the smartest course of action.
Every DUI defense attorney with our firm has a deep knowledge of North Dakota DUI laws. Let us put that knowledge to work on your behalf. Your first inclination may be to just throw yourself on the mercy of the court so you can get back to normal as quickly as possible. But that could be a huge mistake, one that will haunt you for the rest of your life.
Don’t make that mistake. Get in touch with one of our attorneys as soon as you can. We’ll calmly tell you exactly what to expect, and also tell you how we’ll work to minimize your sentence, as well as all of the other potential penalties you face. Use our online form or call 701-609-1510 for a free case review.