If you are charged and convicted of a DUI, you may face several different sentences. For separate crimes and charges, you could face a sentence that is either concurrent or consecutive. For instance, you could face a reckless driving or child endangerment charge in addition to the DUI charge you were expecting.
This means that you could face a concurrent or consecutive sentence, and it is all up to the judge. You may need to understand the difference between these types of sentences to understand what you are up against and how long your sentence could be if you go to court.
What Is a Concurrent Sentence?
A concurrent sentence is one in which the sentences you face are served at the same time. In this case, you might face a sentence for a DUI conviction as well as a child endangerment charge. You might receive two years for each. If you serve the sentences concurrently, you serve a total of two years behind bars.
What Is a Consecutive Sentence?
If you are serving a consecutive sentence, then you must finish one sentence before you begin serving another. In the example above, you would need to serve a total of four years, because you are serving one sentence at a time.
Is One Better than the Other?
A concurrent sentence is preferable to a consecutive sentence. When you serve a concurrent sentence, you can get the sentence completed quickly and move forward with your life. Consecutive sentencing means you spend a lot more time in jail.
The judge will consider many factors when they determine if two or more sentences will run concurrently or consecutively. For instance, they will consider aggravating and mitigating factors. If the charge was very serious or if somebody was killed because of an accident in which you were driving under the influence, then these factors can impact your sentencing. Your demeanor and any additional charges you face could also impact the way the judge views your actions.
What Can You Do to Lessen Your Sentence?
One way you might be able to lessen your sentence is to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help you examine the case and determine how you can proceed and improve your chances of facing the best possible sentence. To learn more or for help with your case, reach out to a DUI attorney to discuss your DUI charges today.