The Psychological Effects of a DUI Arrest and Conviction
The mere thought of a looming DUI conviction can weigh heavy on most people. It’s safe to assume the harsh and long-term consequences of a DUI conviction are enough to cause endless anxiety and sleepless nights.
Even if you have a highly competent DUI defense lawyer backing you up, a DUI conviction can still take a toll on your mental health. This is understandable as a DUI conviction can affect almost all aspects of your life.
DUI Arrest Repercussions
The severity of the sanction and penalties can vary depending on the frequency of the offense and the state you live in. However, the most likely punishments can include some or all of the following:
- Jail Time
- Driving Restrictions
- Possible Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Suspension of Driver’s License
If you live from paycheck to paycheck, the fines you have to pay and the possible loss of income (in the event that you will have to serve time in jail) would be enough to get you all stressed out.
How a DUI Arrest and Conviction Can Affect You Psychologically
A DUI arrest and conviction can have several psychological effects, some of the most notable include:
Many people become depressed after a DUI conviction. Some also experience self-loathing. Yet another indirect consequence of a DUI conviction is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. If you have been convicted of a DUI, you will likely go through a period of sadness and shame.
Many DUI offenders also tend to withdraw from loved ones, friends, and co-workers due to embarrassment. And since most are too embarrassed to talk about their thoughts and feelings, it becomes extremely difficult for those convicted to shake off their feelings of shame and negative thoughts and start anew.
2. Severe Stress
Most people become highly stressed when facing a looming conviction. If you are like most people, this is understandable as you constantly have to worry about how things will go and what you need to deal with down the road. What makes it even more difficult is you need to continue to live your life even when under severe stress.
In other words, you still need to report to work, meet deadlines, and pay the bills, on top of sorting your DUI case out. Some people get very anxious and often imagine worst-case scenarios and the severe and long-term impact of a conviction. This makes things even more difficult for them to deal with.
3. Lonely Introspection
Just like remorse, introspection allows you to take a broader view of your life and the mistakes you have made. Undeniably, DUI errors are significant errors in judgment. That said, many people beat themselves up for the mistake.
While this is a normal reaction, many people find this hard to deal with, especially if they are dealing with the matter on their own.
4. Loss of Independence
Loss of Independence. Using public transportation to get around can be inconvenient. This is especially true if you live far away from where you work. For others, losing their driving privileges can be likened to losing an aspect of their freedom and independence.
5. Financial Worries
Financial stress is one of the most common issues DUI offenders struggle with. Come to think of it, a DUI arrest can cost a few thousand dollars in attorney fees, punitive fines, court costs, and other costs. Even if you have a job that pays well, having to pay a massive amount of unforeseen costs can take a toll on your finances. Many people arrested for DUI admit that the financial burden resulting from the DUI conviction and arrest has given them many sleepless nights.
The uncertainty that accompanies DUI arrests makes them so unnerving. Fear of the possible consequences and outcomes can also cause people to feel agitated. While difficult, you can effectively deal with the after-effects of a DUI arrest. Stay healthy and rely on the emotional support of friends and loved ones. Most importantly, get legal help. The guidance and help of a seasoned and competent DUI defense lawyer can help tip the scales in your favor and help ensure your best interests are taken care of.