Connecticut law is harsh on driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. A first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, but second and subsequent offenses are felony charges that can impact your life for years to come. A criminal record as a felon could impact your employment and housing opportunities and affect your reputation in the community. If you drive for a living, you could have your professional license suspended or revoked. A felony DUI conviction could even impact child custody or visitation.
When the stakes are this high, you need representation from an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases. Contact a New Britain felony DUI lawyer at Ruane Attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Legal counsel could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Repeat DUI Offenses are Felonies
Connecticut General Statute §14-227a describes the crime of driving under the influence and applicable penalties. For the purposes of sentencing, any DUI from the past ten years will count as a prior offense. Someone with a DUI offense from more than ten years ago could be treated as a first offender.
Penalties for a Second Offense
A person accused of a second-time DUI faces a prison sentence of up to two years, of which they must serve four months. A conviction comes with a fine between $1000 and $4000 and 100 hours of mandatory community service. Additionally, the defendant must submit to a substance abuse evaluation and participate in a treatment program if ordered.
The defendant’s driver’s license will also be suspended for 45 days. Upon restoration, they must use an ignition interlock device for the next three years. For the first year after license restoration, the defendant may only travel between home, work, school, and appointments for medical care and with a probation officer. These penalties can severely restrict a person’s freedom and daily activities, making it essential to work with a New Britain attorney on a solid defense for felony DUI charges.
Penalties for a Third and Subsequent Offense
Someone with at least two prior convictions within ten years faces a fine of between $2000 and $8000, a prison sentence of up to three years, and probation. The defendant must serve at least one year of the prison term. Conditions of probation may include at least 100 hours of community service, a substance abuse evaluation, and participation in a treatment program if ordered.
A third conviction for DUI can lead to the permanent revocation of a driver’s license. However, a defendant could apply to reinstate their license through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Our felony DUI lawyers in New Britain could help with this process.
Other Felonies Could Count as Prior Offenses
A person could be charged as if they have a prior DUI offense for other types of convictions on their record. For example, a person who got into an accident while under the influence and caused another person injuries could be treated as if they have a prior DUI conviction. The law says that convictions for assault in a motor vehicle or manslaughter in a motor vehicle count as prior DUI offenses.
Convictions in other states may also count as prior offenses. If the other state’s statute contains the same elements as Connecticut’s DUI statute, an out-of-state conviction counts as a previous offense. Ruane Attorneys could work to mitigate felony DUI charges in New Britain through various defenses, such as contesting a prior out-of-state offense.
Call a New Britain Attorney to Defend a Felony DUI Charge
Contact a New Britain felony DUI lawyer immediately if you face a second or subsequent intoxicated driving charge. The penalties upon conviction are severe, and a felony on your criminal record could impact your future opportunities.
Managing a felony charge without legal counsel is ill-advised. Reach out to Ruane Attorneys today to discuss your situation and learn your legal options.