The majority of people who are arrested for driving under the influence are not criminals in the true sense of the word. Yes, there are repeat offenders who might qualify, but they are a relatively small percentage of the overall DUI arrests. The average DUI arrest involves an otherwise law-abiding citizen who made a serious error in judgment by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. If you are one of those people whose better judgment went out the window resulting in your arrest for DUI, you are undoubtedly worried about the outcome of your case. Specifically, you probably want to know the penalties you face for a first offense DUI in Nebraska. Because of the numerous factors which can affect the penalties a person faces if convicted of a DUI, it is always best to consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney about your specific set of facts and circumstances. In the meantime, however, it may help you to learn about the most common penalties a defendant can face for a first offense DUI in Nebraska.
Nebraska DUI Statute – What Must the State Prove to Convict Me?
Before worrying about the potential penalties you could face, you should be certain you understand the charges against you and what the State (through the prosecuting attorney) must prove in order to convict you of driving under the influence. Nebraska Revised Statute § 60-6,196 governs the offense of driving under the influence, reading as follows:
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle:
(a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug;
(b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or
(c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
Given the campaign to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving across the United States over the last several decades, most people are familiar with the basic elements of a DUI statute. There are, however, a couple of important points about Nebraska’s DUI statute the average person may not realize. First, be aware you can be convicted of DUI for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs – known as “driving under the influence of drugs” (DUID). Another important thing to note is the State does not have to have a chemical test result in order to convict you of DUI. While a test result showing a BAC level above the legal limit makes the prosecutor’s job easier, section (a) makes it possible to convict a defendant if the State can prove that he/she was “under the influence.” Evidence other than a chemical test result can be used to meet that burden of proof.
What Penalties Do I Face for a First Offense DUI?
If you are convicted of driving under the influence as a first-time offender in the State of Nebraska, you face a number of potential penalties, including:
- Conviction of a Class W Misdemeanor
- Driver’s license revocation for 180 days (up to one year if aggravated DUI) (may qualify for a conditional license during revocation period)
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Ignition interlock device (IID) ordered to be installed in your vehicle
- Term of probation to be determined by the court
- Court fees, fines, and costs
- Alcohol evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary
- Community work service
Along with the above list of court-ordered penalties, you may face additional non-judicial penalties as a result of a DUI conviction. For example, you might face disciplinary action if you hold a professional license or you might even lose your job. In addition, you might face disqualification for future employment as well as for state or federal benefits or assistance programs as a result of a DUI conviction.
Considering the numerous penalties you could face if convicted of even a first offense DUI in Nebraska, it should be clear that consulting with an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney is imperative in order to discuss defense strategies in your case.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.