A DUI arrest in Arkansas could lead to significant penalties intended to punish the behavior and deter future offenses. License suspensions and fines serve such purposes as does jail time. Even a first-time offender could receive a jail sentence of up to one year. Drivers who do not seek treatment or otherwise continue drinking and driving may find that multiple arrests and convictions lead to dire consequences.
Repeat offenses and driving under the influence
Anyone convicted of a second DUI offense should expect jail time in Arkansas. The minimum amount is a mandatory seven days of incarceration although the maximum penalty could result in one year behind bars. Expect a 30-day minimum sentence if a passenger under the age of 16 was inside the vehicle. A third offense means a 90-minimum stay in jail.
Individuals with substance abuse issues may continue to drive intoxicated even after multiple arrests and convictions. A person arrested for a fourth DUI looks at felony charges for the offense, and a felony comes with the potential for a lengthy prison sentence. First to third offenses are misdemeanors.
Guilty pleas and jail time
Defendants should realize that a DUI arrest does not automatically lead to a conviction. A criminal defense strategy may result in a not guilty verdict or a dismissal of charges, eliminating any penalties. Proving that a DUI arrest resulted from a false positive chemical test may lead to a preferable outcome for the defendant.
Sometimes, the case is strong against the defendant, and a guilty verdict seems unavoidable. The defendant may choose to enter a guilty plea agreement for less than the maximum sentence of jail time.