Mississippi DUI law code section 63-11-30 states that it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. It is not necessary for a person stopped on suspicion of DUI in Mississippi to show signs of impairment, if that person's BAC level is .08% or greater they are in violation of Mississippi's 'per se' law and will be arrested for driving under the influence.
Even if a person's blood alcohol concentration level is below .08% they may still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence just by the arresting officer's observations, if he or she feels that the accused is displaying signs or behavior consistent with impairment or by failing any part of the field sobriety tests (if submitted to).
When a person is stopped on suspicion of DUI in Mississippi you have every right to kindly refuse to submit to the field sobriety tests without any actions being taken against you. You are however, required by law to submit to a chemical test if the officer has made such a request.
If the officer requested that you take a chemical test and you refused, the officer is required to inform you of the potential penalties for refusal and then ask you a second time if you will submit to a chemical test per Mississippi code section 63-11-23. Whether you submitted to a chemical test and failed or you refused to submit to a chemical test you are violating Mississippi's implied consent law.
When someone initially applies for and accepts a license in Mississippi they are basically agreeing to the terms set forth by the state of Mississippi regarding its implied consent law, which basically says that if you are requested by an officer to submit to a chemical test because the officer has probable cause to believe that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, an intoxicant or any combination thereof.
When someone either fails or refuses a chemical test, the arresting officer will confiscate and suspend your license and issue you a statutory summary suspension. It is very important that you read this paperwork very carefully and that you fully understand what it says.
If you submitted to and failed a chemical test your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. The arresting officer will issue you a temporary permit that will allow you to drive up until your DUI criminal trial. If your trial date gets pushed out, you may request an extension of your temporary permit through the court.
If you refused to submit to a chemical test your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. The arresting officer will issue you a temporary permit in the case of a test refusal, however, the difference in this case is that the permit is only valid for 45 days from the date of your arrest and cannot be renewed.
If you or your Mississippi DUI lawyer wish to challenge the suspension of your license in this case, you or your lawyer must file a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension with the court within ten days of the post mark of the letter of intent to suspend your license. Failure to file an appeal within this ten day window will mean that the suspension of your license will stand and you will not be able to file an appeal.
If you intend on filing an appeal you are definitely going to want to hire a lawyer who has experience when it comes to filing appeals and the entire appeal process. This is not something you want to try and attempt on your own.
The actual test refusal hearing will be conducted by either a County Court Judge or a Circuit Court Judge depending on the county. At the hearing the judge will review all of the evidence against you and the evidence on your behalf presented by your lawyer, the judge will also hear testimony from the arresting officer, you and/or your attorney and any witnesses that may have been subpoenaed to appear at the hearing. All testimony is done under oath.
The judge has to determine if the arresting officer established probable cause and followed procedure during the stop. If the judge rules that the officer did in fact have probable cause and followed procedure, the suspension of your license will be upheld. If the judge rules in your favor, your license will be reinstated. It's important to remember that this is just a test refusal hearing, a win here does not mean you have won your criminal case this hearing is just about the suspension of your driver's license, you must still go to court to fight the DUI charge.
A Mississippi first offense DUI is a misdemeanor offense and carries the following fines and penalties:
Jail time: You may be required to spend up to 48 hours in jail. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case the court may order you to pay just the fines in lieu of any jail time. If the court does order jail time they may substitute attendance at a victim impact panel in lieu of any jail time.
Fines: The fines for a first offense DUI will be between $250 and $1,000 plus court costs. At the court's discretion they may order you to just jail time versus paying any fine amounts. Even if the court orders you to serve jail time in lieu of any fines, you will still have to pay any court costs.
Alcohol education: First time offenders will be required to successfully attend and complete a state approved alcohol safety education program. The cost of the program will be your responsibility.
Test refusal: A first refusal will result in a 90 day license suspension.
Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for up to 6 months following the required 30 day suspension period.
License suspension: You must complete the required MASEP course along with the suspension period before your license will be fully reinstated. Before the Mississippi DPS will reinstate your license following your suspension period or issue you a Hardship license you will be required to file proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Mississippi SR22 insurance policy with them.
A Mississippi second offense DUI is a misdemeanor offense and means that you have previously been convicted of a first offense DUI within the past 5-year period. The penalties and fines for a second offense violation are as follows:
Jail time: If convicted of a second offense you will have to spend a minimum of 5-days in jail up to a maximum of 1-year in jail. The length of the jail sentence will depend upon the circumstances surrounding your case and any previous convictions. Unlike a first offense conviction, the court will not suspend or reduce the jail sentence.
Fines: The fines for a second offense DUI will be between $600 and $1,500 plus court costs. The fine amounts set forth by the court shall not be suspended or reduced for a second offense conviction.
Community service: A second offense will require 10 days to 1 year of community service.
Forfeiture letter: The commissioner of the Department of Public Safety will also send a letter addressed to you and your spouse (if you have one) that states that if you are convicted of a third offense your vehicle will be forfeited to the state.
Alcohol education: You will be required to undergo and complete diagnostic assessment and treatment program for alcohol and drugs following a second offense conviction.
A Mississippi third or subsequent offense DUI is a felony offense and means that you have previously been convicted of at least one other DUI offense within the past 5-year period. The penalties and fines for a third offense violation are as follows:
Jail time: If convicted of a third offense you will have to spend a minimum of 1-year in jail up to a maximum of 5-years in jail. If there were serious bodily injuries or death resulting from your DUI you will be sentenced to serve time in prison instead of jail. The length of the jail or prison sentence will depend upon the circumstances surrounding your case and any previous convictions. Unlike a first offense conviction, the court will not suspend or reduce the jail sentence.
Fines: The fines for a third offense DUI will be between $2,000 and $5,000 plus court costs. The fine amounts set forth by the court shall not be suspended or reduced for a third offense conviction.
Alcohol education: You may be required to undergo and complete diagnostic assessment and treatment program for alcohol and drugs following a third offense conviction. The cost of the program will be your responsibility.
Test refusal: A third refusal will result in a 1 year license suspension no driving allowed during suspension.
Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for 3 years following the required 2 year suspension period.
License suspension: You are eligible for restricted driving privileges following the requried 45 day required suspension period only in an ignition interlock equipped vehicle. The interlock will be required for 3 to 5 years following suspension period. Third time offenders are not eligible for a Hardship license, you will have to wait until your suspension period is over before you may drive again. Before the Mississippi DPS will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to file proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Mississippi SR22 policy with them. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for 3-years following the reinstatement of your license.
A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Mississippi while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test will be arrested for DUI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.
If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again. A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.
A first offense violation of Mississippi's "zero tolerance" law for anyone under 21 years of age will result in your license being suspended for 90 days, you will have to pay a $250 fine, attend a state approved alcohol safety education program and you may be required to attend a victim impact panel.
A second violation within a 5-year period will result in your license being suspended for 1-year, you will have to pay a $500 fine, attend a state approved alcohol safety education program and you may be required to attend a victim impact panel.
A third or subsequent violation while under 21 years of age within a 5-year period will result in a $1,000 fine, your license will be suspended until you turn 21 or for 2-years, whichever is longer. Meaning that if you are arrested for a third offense violation and you just turned 20 years old, you will not be able to get your license back until you turn 23 years old.
Before the Mississippi DPS will reinstate your license following your suspension period or before issuing a first time offender a Hardship license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.
At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Mississippi SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Department of Public Safety of the lapse. If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Mississippi DPS will immediately suspended your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DPS before they will issue you another license.
Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one. DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Mississippi and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.
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Mississippi First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.
Mississippi SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about Mississippi's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Mississippi MASEP Classes - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI MASEP classes listed by County.
Mississippi Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Mississippi bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.
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