Being arrested for a DWI in Springfield can feel like the worst time of your life. All sorts of problems and issues come with a DUI conviction. A DUI conviction can bring financial difficulties, confrontations with concerned loved ones, potential job losses, loss of driving privileges, and more. Living with a DUI can feel like a very heavy burden that takes a long time to lift. The good news is, you can recover from a DUI with time, patience, and mindfulness. It is hard work, but it can be done. You and your future life are worth it!
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The First Step: Getting Through A DUI Arrest In Springfield
If you are pulled over for, and subsequently arrested for DUI in Springfield, be aware that Missouri has an implied consent law that mandates you submit to an alcohol or drug test. If you refuse, your license will be revoked for a year. So consider this before you refuse. If you do not refuse, you will have a drug/alcohol test performed. After this, if your blood alcohol level is enough for an arrest, you will be detained. If you refuse all tests you will also be arrested and taken to the police station. Here you may be given a test for blood alcohol content and booked. You will be held until bond has been posted and someone picks you up. You will be given your paperwork for your court appearance. This is when the full gravity of the situation may begin to manifest itself to you. If there was no accident involved, and no one was hurt, be grateful for that. There are ways to get through a DUI conviction in Springfield, and it will proceed much more smoothly if no one was hurt and no property was damaged. It is a hopeful start.
The Next Step: Assessing The Damage
After you are released, you will be filled with questions and emotions, and fears. A good place to start is by calling a DWI lawyer in Springfield. There will be consequences for a DUI arrest, but having a lawyer walk you through the court process will really help, especially if this is your first arrest for DUI. A lawyer can answer any questions you have and give you real advice, not just guesses about how to proceed. They can help you to decide if you should fight the charges, or if a plea deal is the best way forward for your specific case. You can go to court on your own, but having a lawyer on your side will make the court process, paperwork, and aftermath so much easier to manage. Once the court has decided to hand down a DUI conviction, you will have real work to do. For a first time offense, the law is a Class B misdemeanor. Depending on your blood alcohol level at the time of arrest, you could face up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine. Depending on the situation, jail time can be much less, and so can the fine amount. You will need to be honest with your friends and family about your DUI, and ask for help if you need someone to drive you to work, or to court, or anything else you would need to be in a car for. Do not drive on a suspended license. You will need to inform your boss or your place of work about the DUI. This can have serious repercussions.
You may lose your job, depending on your workplace situation. And finding employment after a DUI conviction will be challenging as well. You will need to assess your situation with honesty and responsibility. It will be tough at first, but understand that this is part of the process. Many people do not lose their jobs after one DUI conviction, every case is different. Another issue you will have to deal with is the loss of driving privileges. A first time DUI conviction results in a 90 days suspension of your driver’s license. It is possible to request and receive what is known as a “restricted driving privilege” if an Ignition Interlock Device is installed in your car. This device will only allow you to drive your car if you breathe into the device and there is no alcohol detected in your breath. These are not free. You will have to pay for installation, and for the monthly fees associated with it for as long as it is in your car.
Many people convicted of DUI in Springfield will also have to serve a period of probation. There are costs associated with this term as well. Finally, once your license has been reinstated, you will most likely have to purchase SR-22 insurance to be able to drive. This is costly, and you will probably have to have it for a few years, but it is necessary. As you can see, the immediate consequences of a DUI in Springfield are pretty severe. They will ease up over time if you have no more offenses, so try to keep focused on fulfilling your obligations to the court, be patient, and look to the future. Things can and will get better if you mind the law and do the work.
How To Take Care Of Yourself
Once you have taken care of court issues, workplace situations, and getting your driving privileges back on a schedule, you need to give yourself some attention. This may be a good time to do some re-evaluating and soul searching in your life. Is drinking alcohol worthy of this trouble? Is it causing other problems in your life? Was this truly a one-off incident, or do you drive after drinking often? You may need to attend counseling after your DUI, whether it is court-ordered or voluntary, getting help from a professional counselor or therapist may really help you confront issues you may have with alcohol.
Also, you may need to apologize to loved ones and friends for your careless behavior, as DUI convictions often affect family members, friends, and co-workers as well. Take this opportunity to have some heart to heart conversations with people who love you, as well as with yourself. You do not want to have another DUI conviction, the penalties and consequences only become more extreme. Consider ways to avoid the situation in the future, so that once this is in your past, it can remain there. Time, good choices, and diligent work can turn everything around, including a DUI conviction in Springfield. Forgive yourself and move on to better and bigger things!