Negotiating For Probation After A DUI Arrest? What You Agree To


Being arrested for a first DUI is a stressful, emotional experience. Many people in this position worry most about avoiding jail time. The good news is that an experienced criminal defense attorney can often negotiate your way out of that. But you may need to accept some other, less onerous—but still challenging—penalties.  

These penalties often include probation. What is probation? And what rules will you have to abide by for months or years? Here's what every driver needs to know.

What Is Probation?

Probation is a criminal conviction in which the person doesn't have to remain in jail, but they also do not have the full freedom that the ordinary person enjoys. The convicted person agrees to follow a set of rules imposed by the court for a set period of time. If they do this, they go free when the term is up. If they fail to follow the rules, they can be subjected to their original penalty—often including some jail time. 

What Does DUI Probation Include?

The specific terms of a probation offer for a first-time DUI conviction vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. They are often also at the discretion of the judge in your case. 

However, some probation terms are common. You may be assigned a certain number of hours of community service, sometimes in an area designed to reduce recidivism (repeat offenses). You may also have to complete driver training or an alcohol treatment program and possibly pay restitution to victims who were harmed due to your DUI. 

Many of the terms of DUI probation are also aimed at preventing a person from driving under the influence again. One of the most likely consequences is that your driver's license is suspended for the period. You may be able to apply for a restricted license instead, depending on your state's rules. 

In addition to license suspension, physical barriers to driving are often implemented. If you have any driving privileges, you may need to have an ignition locking device installed on your car. Modern technology also allows other forms of monitoring your person to make sure you aren't drinking. 

Finally, you'll need to avoid any and all legal trouble during probation. The judge may consider any unrelated offenses to be violations of your agreement. 

Where Can You Get Help?

Understanding the terms you agree to when you accept probation instead of jail time is key to fulfilling them. Contact a local criminal defense attorney to learn more. 



4 August 2023

Understanding General Attorney Services

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