A first offense DUI in Mississippi carries many penalties. If convicted, you’ll be fined no less than $250 and up to $1000, or sentenced to 48 hours in jail, or both. So the possible outcomes with that are either just a fine, just jail time, or both. It’s up to the judge following your trial or plea. If you plead guilty, the agreement will likely state which one it is so you know ahead of time what’s going to happen. Note: the judge can also substitute attendance at a victim impact panel for the 48 hours in jail.
You’ll also be ordered to attend an alcohol safety education program (called MASEP). Additionally the department of safety will suspend your driver’s license for a minimum of 90 days and until you’ve attended MASEP. You may be eligible for a hardship license which will reduce the suspension down to 30 days. To learn more, see my article on Mississippi hardship licenses.
These are the cut-and-dried punishments spelled out in the law, but there are more. I call them collateral consequences of a Mississippi DUI. They aren’t handed down by the court but they affect you nonetheless. A big one is higher insurance premiums. With a DUI conviction, your insurance company is going to raise your rates.
Another consequence is that the conviction may be on your record forever. I’ve written before about Mississippi DUI expungements, but those aren’t going to apply to everyone. If you are convicted and are not eligible for an expungement, it’s going to be on your record forever. It doesn’t just come off after five years like some people think. Being permanently convicted of drunk driving could keep you from getting jobs and could hurt your credit score.
Now that you know the penalties for a first offense DUI in Mississippi, you should seek out experienced legal representation. A good lawyer will work to get you lowest sentence possible or even a verdict of not guilty. Southaven DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall can help if you are facing this charge. Call him at (901)205-9894 or email him at email@example.com.