If you were convicted of driving under the influence, you will have to go to court on a separate date for your sentencing. Sentencing is when the state delineates the DUI penalties pertinent to your specific case. Sentencing can occur immediately following conviction based on a plea bargain with the prosecution, conviction by a jury or if you plead guilty. As soon as you are convicted, the judge will set a date for you to return to court in order to hear your sentencing. Depending on how busy your criminal court may be, your sentencing date may be set for a few weeks or even months after your conviction date.
Negotiating Your Sentence After A Conviction
But just because you are convicted does not mean your attorney’s job is finished. He or she will make arguments to the judge and prosecution to determine the severity and length of your punishments. Your defense attorney will use this opportunity to point out your good qualities such as if you are a contributing member of society, good employee and family member. The job of the judge will be to listen to the prosecution and defense to make a fair sentence. Usually, the judge is guided by preset state penalties for drinking and driving.
The judge will also have to consider other factors when sentencing you. Depending on whether or not there were aggravated charges such as driving over twice the posted speed limit or injuring and even killing another person, the judge may impose a harsher sentence if factors like this were relevant to your case. To be fair, the judge will also look at your criminal record and will be more lenient for first-time offenders. In some cases, simply the defendant’s last statement before sentencing is read can influence a judge’s decision.
Sentences You Could Face
When the judge makes a sentencing verdict, he or she will read it to you during your sentencing. While no one case is alike, DUI offenders can face such penalties as community service, expensive fines and court fees, jail and DUI school. Outside of the courtroom, you could lose your license with the DMV and have insurance coverage problems.
Speak to your attorney prior to sentencing to discuss any questions.
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