Drunk driving allegations can involve significant penalties. Even a first-time offense can mean the loss of your license, massive fines and even as much as a year in jail. Altogether too many driving while intoxicated (DWI) defendants make the inaccurate assumption that pleading guilty is the quickest and best way to handle a charge.
They wind up saddled with mandatory penalties and a criminal record that hinders their future growth. Their conviction will also impact their ability to get insurance and how much they pay for it when they do get their licenses back. If they ever get arrested for impaired driving again, their history will mean increased penalties.
Going to court to defend yourself gives you many options. Even if you face conviction, you may still be able to ask for a suspended imposition of your sentence. What happens if the courts agree to suspend the imposition of your sentence?
How a suspended imposed sentence works in South Dakota
When a judge sentences a defendant to incarceration, it can seem like a worst-case scenario. However, for a first-time offender whose actions didn’t cause harm to anyone else, the judge presiding over your case has the option to be conditionally lenient.
Instead of just giving a minuscule sentence, which might undermine the seriousness of a DWI offense, the judge assesses a real criminal penalty. However, they also give the defendant an opportunity to avoid incarceration and other consequences. By conditionally suspending the imposition of a sentence, the judge gives someone an opportunity to remain free and put a single mistake behind them.
The judge can set terms for you to avoid consequences, such as avoiding a subsequent DWI arrest for at least 10 years. They can also decide to postpone when you serve your sentence, which can give you a chance to demonstrate your good behavior and how you are a benefit to your community.
A suspended sentence can help you learn and move on in life
The conditional suspension of your sentence’s imposition is an opportunity for you. You can continue to work and fulfill any secondary requirements set by the courts. This situation can be a real second chance for someone with a first-time DWI charge. The risks can give you plenty of incentive to avoid additional mistakes in the future, and you have the opportunity to put this whole mess behind you.