If I Decide to Appeal My DUI Conviction, Can They Increase My Sentence?

Once you’ve been convicted of driving and driving, you cannot be sentenced more harshly even if you appeal the conviction and lose. That would be considered something like double jeopardy –being sentenced for the same offense twice as opposed to being tried for the same crime twice.

In this Drunk Drivers Rights guides we outline what will happen if you appeal your DUI conviction and if they can increase your sentence.

Reasons for Appealing a DUI Conviction

Appealing a conviction for a drunk driving offense is expensive. In many cases, the time it takes to go through the conviction process lasts as long as the time a license is suspended. First offense DUI convictions bring a maximum of 90-100 days in jail according to most state laws, and an appeal would almost certainly take longer than that to be filed, recognized by the court and approved.

The point is, in most DUI convictions the motivation to appeal is minimal. In addition, most DUI lawyers are reluctant to take on the appeals process unless there is very clear evidence that the initial conviction was not valid. Beware of DUI attorneys who are just looking for a payday despite the evidence.

Experienced DUI attorneys are willing to consider representing you in an appeal if it can be shown that the original conviction was based on illegitimate evidence. It could be that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level tests such as a breath test or blood test were improperly administered. In some cases, if a driver is taking certain medications it can lead to a false BAC result.

Pursuing a DUI Conviction with a Skilled DUI Defense Attorney

If you plan to appeal based on these issues, find a skilled DUI attorney with a proven record of having cases overturned. The drunk driving lawyer will examine the criminal file closely to look for errors made by police or medical personnel. He or she will ask you all sorts of questions to find out what else might have caused a false reading on a blood alcohol test. Then the DUI defense lawyer will attack the prosecution’s case in an effort to show that the case had errors that led to an unfair conviction.

If you believe that you were wrongly convicted or that there might be grounds for a successful appeal, talk to several drunk driving lawyers in your area. Find one that is willing to take on your case and can give you legitimate reason to believe an appeal may be successful. In any event, if you lose the appeal, the severity of your sentence will not be increased.