Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska can cause a wide range of issues. Despite widespread problems with field sobriety tests, inaccuracies and user error in breath tests and medical conditions that create false positives on both tests, many assume that those charged with a DUI are guilty before the accused ever get to court. This social prejudice can cause a host of issues, from loss of a job as a result of your criminal charges to problems with social relationships.
Of course, those issues are nothing compared with the legal and criminal consequences of a DUI charge in Nebraska. A single mistake or medical event could end up altering the course of your life. It’s important to understand your rights, including the right to a defense, as well as the potential legal consequences of a conviction or guilty plea. While you may feel tempted to plead guilty to “get it over with,” doing so could prove to be a major mistake.
DUIs carry fines, jail and loss of driving privileges
In general, those who fail a field sobriety test or who have breath test results that indicate a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher will face DUI charges. Those who operate commercial licenses can face DUI charges with a BAC of 0.04 percent, while 0.02 percent can result in charges for those who are under the age of 21.
If you get convicted of a DUI offense or plead guilty to a DUI charge, the penalties depend on the judge you face and your criminal record. First time offenders face loss of their driver’s license for six months, a $500 fine and up to 10 days in jail.
Additional charges bring bigger penalties
Second offenses carry increased penalties that include a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail. That may be enough to cost you your job, no matter how understanding your employer may be. You could receive up to 90 days in jail, depending on circumstances. You will have to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and lose your driver’s license for up to 18 full months.
If you get charged with a third DUI offense, the penalties increase again. You could get sentenced to up to 180 days in jail, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days. You will also have to pay a fine of $1,000, and you could lose your license for up to 15 years.
There are fees associated with getting your license back, as well as increased insurance premiums for those with DUI offenses on record. Pleading guilty or getting convicted of a DUI, especially a second or third DUI, could completely change your life.