Common Misconceptions People Have Regarding Their DUI Case
Probably the biggest misconception is that you can’t plead a DUI down to some sort of lesser offense. A lot of states offer it to where you can play it down to some kind of traffic violation or something of the sort. In Mississippi, that’s not an option. There is the option for non-adjudication, but you do have to enter a plea of guilty for a DUI first offense. And if you fail to meet all the terms and non-adjudication, then you will have a DUI first offense on your record. The other thing that gets people is the penalties, especially for commercial driver’s license holders. They are looking at losing their license for one year, which means they’re unemployed. Then they have to go find something else to do to make a living. There’s no interlock restricted license or anything like that available for those individuals. And even somebody with a regular driver’s license is looking at losing their license for 120 days, two days in jail, and a fine of up to a thousand dollars. So they’re pretty stiff penalties for a misdemeanor DUI first offense. And it goes up from there to a second, and then you’re getting into the felony level. Quite often in Mississippi, the jurisdiction will have what’s called an initial appearance within 30 days. But after that it can take months to get on the docket. I have seen them go on for over a year, and the ones that drag on longer have a greater chance of getting dismissed because officers move on, and things get lost in the shuffle. But, the general timeframe on a DUI is usually somewhere between three and six months.