First DUI Offense in Omaha - What You Need To Know

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Getting through a DUI charge in Omaha, Nebraska can be challenging, especially when it’s your first criminal offense. Here’s what you need to know to get through the legal process when facing your first DUI charge.

A DUI lawyer in Omaha NE is your first line of defense

Don’t attempt to fight a DUI charge alone. DUI attorneys are trained to navigate the complexities of the legal system. Advising clients on their rights and responsibilities is their area of expertise. Navigating the legal system alone, there will be plenty of unfamiliar situations and case requirements that could harm the outcome of your case if done incorrectly. DUI attorneys in Omaha know the system inside and out. You need their expertise on your side.

You agreed to the Nebraska implied consent law by driving

In Nebraska, by operating a motor vehicle, you give implied consent to submit to a chemical test anytime you’re suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You have the right to refuse a chemical test, but you should be aware of the consequences for doing so.

Refusing to submit to a chemical test when pulled over for a DUI in Omaha will get you immediately arrested and your driving privileges will be suspended. During your trial, the prosecution can introduce the fact that you refused to submit to a chemical test. This fact will work against you at your trial.

Don’t obsess over fighting the results of a chemical test

You may have heard about people getting their DUI conviction overturned by claiming the chemical test produced inaccurate results or was not administered properly. While there are legitimate circumstances in which a chemical test can be inaccurate, and people do win those claims, it’s not the norm.

If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and your chemical test came back positive, don’t set your sights on discrediting the test you were given unless your DUI attorney advises you otherwise. Nobody wants to pay fines or go to jail, but a DUI charge with chemical evidence is extremely difficult to get out of.

When there’s clear evidence of your guilt, your DUI lawyer isn’t there to get you off the hook – their job is to help you navigate the legal system, speak on your behalf, and get you the smallest penalties possible. However, if you aren’t guilty, your lawyer will fight to prove your innocence. Remember, you are guilty until proven innocent and have the right to defend yourself in a court of law.

Always trust and follow your DUI attorney’s advice. They know more than you do about how DUI cases work. They’ll do everything in their power to create the best outcome for your case. If you don’t understand something they want you to do, don’t fight them on it. Ask for a better explanation instead. There will be consequences for going against your DUI lawyer’s advice.

Your driving privileges will be restricted

If you’ve had your driver’s license for any length of time, you’re used to having the freedom to go anywhere without being tied to someone else’s schedule. After your first DUI offense, that will change.

In the state of Nebraska, your driving privileges will be revoked following a DUI charge. Depending on the outcome of your case, you might receive a restricted license that will allow you to drive by installing an Ignition Interlock device in your car. Under this condition, you won’t be allowed to drive anyone else’s car.

If you refused to submit to a chemical test, or if you’re convicted of a DUI, your license will be automatically revoked. How long your license is revoked for depends on the details of your case, and how many offenses you’ve had, but it can range between 60 days, 6 months, or forever.

Driving with a suspended or revoked license carries additional penalties including criminal charges, further driving restrictions, and fines.

Driving with a revoked license is a bad idea

It’s a criminal offense to drive with a revoked license in Omaha, Nebraksa. The Nebraska Revised Statute 60-4,108 classifies this act as a Class II misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class II misdemeanor, you’ll spend up to six months in jail or be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000 – or both.

Your offense will be downgraded to a Class III misdemeanor if your license revocation period has ended, but you haven’t yet reinstated your driving privileges. A Class III misdemeanor in Nebraska carries a lighter penalty: up to three months in jail or a fine of up to $500 – or both.

Driving with a revoked driver’s license will also extend your period of revocation. For your first offense of driving on a revoked license, your revocation will be extended by one year. Your second time violating this law will extend your revocation by two years, and your vehicle might be impounded.

Since you could potentially have your driving privileges revoked permanently, it’s not worth driving on a revoked or suspended license. If you’ve been arrested, charged, or convicted of a DUI in Omaha, Nebraska, find alternative ways to get around. Take a cab to the grocery store. Take public transportation as much as possible. Ride your bike to work. If you can’t find a ride from a friend, call Uber.

Here’s how a second DUI charge will affect you

Your first DUI offense paves the way for a more intense experience with a second DUI. Hopefully, that won’t happen. However, you need to be aware of what you’ll face if it does.

If you’re convicted of a second DUI offense in Omaha, you’ll face a minimum of 30 days in jail, up to a maximum of 90 days. Your license will be revoked for a year, and you’ll pay a fine of up to $500. If you are the only registered owner, your vehicle will be required to be immobilized, which means you’ll need to pay to store it at an impound lot for anywhere between five days and eight months.

If there is another registered owner, your DUI attorney might be able to get your vehicle released to the other owner if they can prove it’s necessary for their employment or to take care of children. On the other hand, the judge might allow you to install an ignition interlock system on your car. With this device installed, your car won’t start unless you breathe into it with a BAC of less than 0.02%. Although, you won’t be able to drive at all for the first 45 days following your conviction.  

The judge might decide to put you on probation, which carries a shorter jail term of just ten days. Your license will still be revoked for a full year, and you won’t be able to drive at all for 45 days. After the first 45 days, you might get your driving privileges back if you agree to install an ignition interlock device. It’s up to the judge.

A second DUI conviction might not be as harsh

If it’s been fifteen or twenty years since your first DUI conviction, it’s possible your second DUI offense won’t be counted as such, and won’t carry the harsher penalties. It depends on your individual circumstances and the judge overseeing your case.

Charged with a DUI? Contact an attorney right away

If you haven’t called an attorney yet, do so immediately. DUI attorneys in Omaha know that facing a first DUI charge is scary. A DUI attorney will defend you to the highest degree, and help you get back to your normal life as quickly as possible.