Drunk driving charges are no laughing matter. If you are suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you could face a lengthy investigation, followed by serious penalties if convicted. In the event of a drunk driving charge, it is important to cooperate with the authorities, to avoid further incrimination. Your actions during the course of your investigation and trial can greatly impact the final outcome.
One man in Illinois learned this the hard way when he failed to turn up for sentencing, following a drunk driving conviction. The 39-year-old Seymour man was arrested after someone reported that he was operating a pickup truck despite being intoxicated. He allegedly failed sobriety tests, while his blood alcohol was reported to have been almost three times the legal limit.
The state had agreed to a sentencing cap of six years as he pleaded guilty to the offense. However, this agreement did not hold as the accused did not attend his sentencing. His previous DUI convictions also counted against him, making him eligible for an extended term. As a result, the judge gave him seven years.
For other drivers in Illinois, this case serves as an example of the necessity of cooperation during a criminal investigation. Appearing in court may seem daunting, but it is an important part of your defense. The repercussions of conviction can include the revocation of your license, fines or even time in jail.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, an attorney may be able to support you. He or she can advise you on how to plead and may be able to negotiate a plea agreement. With the right guidance, you can increase your chances of avoiding conviction, or at least pursue a milder sentence.
Source: The News-Gazette, "Judge adds a year when man doesn't show for sentencing in aggravated DUI case," Mary Schenk, July 8, 2014