All criminal convictions, whether they’re for misdemeanors or felonies, lead to criminal penalties and sanctions that place a heavy burden upon the defendant, especially as he or she tries to re-enter society, and convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) are no exception.
If you are facing DUI charges in Miami-Dade County, it’s important to understand that beyond the fines, license suspension, DUI School, and other court-ordered penalties, you’ll be faced with other consequences – commonly referred to as “collateral consequences.”
Understandably, felony DUIs lead to serious collateral consequences, but a misdemeanor DUI conviction does too. The problem with collateral consequences is that they can last indefinitely, they can impact a DUI defendant’s life for years, long after the DUI falls off their driving record.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of a DUI?
Suppose you are convicted of DUI in Florida. How can that criminal conviction affect you for years to come? Here are some examples of how the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction can last indefinitely:
- DUIs come up on background checks.
- A DUI can bar someone from receiving Security Clearance.
- A DUI can lead to the denial or cancellation of a professional license.
- A DUI can bar someone from being accepted into college.
- A DUI can lead to the denial of college scholarships.
- A DUI can cause a college athlete to be kicked off the team.
- A DUI can affect employment opportunities for years.
- A DUI can affect a person’s ability to rent an apartment or home.
- A DUI can bar someone from traveling to Canada for 10 years.
- A felony DUI can affect citizenship and naturalization (for immigrants).
- A DUI affects auto insurance premiums for years.
- A DUI can affect a military career, resulting in pay and rank reduction, etc.
- A DUI can affect child custody decisions, especially if it’s recent.
Unfortunately, the people facing DUI charges may not realize the “collateral consequences” of a DUI conviction; however, they need to be considered as a part of the whole defense approach. Clients are in a better position to decide on a defense strategy when they consider the adverse effects of a DUI conviction, long after the case has closed.
Facing DUI charges in Miami? Contact my firm at once to work with a former prosecutor who is on your side.