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Navigating probation in drunk driving cases, P.1

Drunk driving cases can involve a number of penalties and consequences, depending on the circumstances of the case. Not only are there potential criminal penalties of fines and prison time, in some cases, but also various administrative penalties such as license suspension, ignition interlock use, and alcohol use monitoring.

The goal of criminal defense, of course, is to minimize these penalties as much as possible. In cases where a defendant is lucky, he or she might be able to have charges dismissed in exchange for completing a period of probation and living according the terms of the agreement. This is sometimes an option for first-time offenders. Even in cases where there are ultimately no criminal penalties imposed and where charges are dismissed, though, handling administrative penalties and probation can be a burden for offenders

Probation can be a boon for criminal defendants wanting to keep their record clean, but it can also end up causing defendants to get even more tangled up in the criminal justice system. This is particularly the case if the judge supervising the probation insists on putting the offender through the ringers. The reality is that judges have a lot of discretion when setting the terms of probation, and these terms can be burdensome.

For offenders placed on probation, it is critical to understand how to comply with the terms of probation. An experienced defense attorney who is familiar with the judge supervising the probation can prove especially useful by helping an offender to communicate with the judge in a way that gives them the best possible positioning for successfully meeting the terms of their probation. Working with an experienced attorney can also come in handy when addressing any misunderstandings, errors and issues that come up along the way.

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