You can avoid jail time even with a previous DUI conviction

Some people drink and drive a lot and never seem to get caught. Others are scrupulous, cutting off their wine or beer intake well before they have to leave a social event in Wheeling, yet they still get pulled over, charged and convicted anyway. The first time this happens is distressing enough, especially if you were certain you were adequately sober to drive. (And maybe you were. It is true that police testimonies and the results of blood alcohol content tests are not always reliable.)

But what about the second time? Perhaps you had a little wine at the book club meeting last night and got pulled over and charged. If you are convicted, it would be your second time because of an incident a few years ago when you were pulled over after an anniversary dinner in which you barely drank anything.

Challenging the evidence

No one case is the same, but one thing your attorney may try to do is to challenge the evidence. That is, he or she looks for flaws in how a test was administered or if the grounds for pulling you over were reasonable. He or she may have your book club members testify that you simply could not be legally drunk based on how much you drank.

However, if the attorney decides everything seems on the up and up, the next step could be to explore lesser charges as well as alternatives to jail time.

Seeking treatment

Getting treatment is one way to avoid jail time, whether you live in West Virginia or Ohio. For instance, your attorney may present a compelling case that you may, in fact, have an addiction and that the community is better served if you enter a rehabilitation program instead of jail. The lower your BAC and the less risky the situation, the better your chances can be for approval (for example, if you were driving alone with no children in the car, caused no damage and registered a 0.08 BAC on tests).

To be sure, a previous DUI conviction can hurt your case (and lead to stiffer penalties) if you are charged again. It need not spell doom, though. Get in touch with an attorney as early as possible.

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