DUI First Offense Information

DUI First Offense

When a person is arrested on a first offense DUI charge there is a lot of information that a person needs to be aware about in order to have the most successful outcome in their case. The first thing you must be aware of is that there is only a limited window of opportunity in which to request an administrative driver’s license hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The time frame in which you must request an administrative hearing following a DUI arrest is going to depend on which state the first offense DUI occurred within. In most states this window is going to be between 7 to 10 days from the date of the arrest in which a hearing request must be made. Failure to request an administrative hearing following a first offense DUI arrest will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license and you will not be eligible to request a hearing after this period time.

Defense against a First Offense DUI Charge

A skilled DUI defense lawyer is going to know what evidence to look for in a DUI case, whereas the average person would never think to look at this evidence on their own or even know how to go about obtaining this crucial evidence. For example, just because you registered a .13% BAC reading does not mean that you are automatically guilty of a first offense DUI charge and that your case is not worth fighting in court.



When your DUI lawyer sees that you blew a .13%, one of the first things he or she will do is request the testing equipment maintenance and calibration history for the machine you were tested on to see if the machine maintenance has been kept up to date and is current and if there have been any problems with the equipment in the past that could lead to an inaccurate reading.

If you submitted to a blood test, a skilled DUI lawyer will obtain a sample of your blood and have an independent laboratory perform a second blood test to either confirm or refute the police findings. With the blood test there are certain standards that must be followed in order to preserve the blood evidence and if these standards have not been followed this makes the blood test results null and void and inadmissible in court as evidence in your case.

In court, whether the case is a murder case or a first offense DUI charge, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. In order to be convicted on the charge of DUI, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are in fact guilty. If the evidence against you does not bear this out, then the charges against you must be dismissed.

A DUI case is like a house of cards just waiting to fall. Those cards include:

DUI First Offense
  • The officer observing your driving pattern before the stop.

  • The officer observing your physical appearance during the stop.

  • The results of the field sobriety tests, if you submitted to them. And, the results of the chemical testing.

As far as your driving patterns and appearance, those items are of course going to be very biased and one-sided, because the officer is only going to document what he felt you did wrong and is never going to document any of the things you did right. A skilled DUI lawyer is going to point out all of the things you did right the jury that the officer failed to mention.

If you submitted to the field sobriety tests, a skilled DUI lawyer can refute this evidence. There are many reasons that can be present as to why a person performed poorly on the tests, including the following items.

  • Were the tests performed on level ground?
  • Were the tests performed on the side of the road with cars speeding by?
  • Were the shoes you were wearing at the time not proper for performing the tests?
  • Were the conditions in which you were tested dark or at night?
  • Was it raining or windy?
  • Being overweight?
  • Do you have a medical problem that causes balance issues?

The list of possible reasons for performing poorly on the field sobriety tests goes on and on.

As far as the chemical test goes, it is not illegal for you to register a BAC reading of .13% at the police station. The question is, can the prosecution prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your BAC level was .08% or above at the time of driving? As you can see there are many ways in which a DUI case can be defending, whether it be a first, second, third or more offense charge.

First Offense DUI Penalties by State