Connecticut laws impose severe penalties for driving under the influence. Even first-time DUI offenders face jail time, steep fines, probation, and administrative penalties.
If you are charged with a first-time DUI in New Britain, contact Ruane Attorneys as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney begins working on your case, the better your chances of building an effective defense to the charges. Our legal team can work to resolve your case while minimizing the impact on you and your life.
Understanding the DUI Statute
Connecticut General Statute §14-227a outlines the law against driving while intoxicated. The statute defines an intoxicated driver as one with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Someone “driving while impaired by alcohol” may also face DUI charges, even if their BAC is under the legal limit.
Fines for a first drunk driving offense range from $500 to $1000. A convicted person could also be sentenced to up to six months in jail. However, in many cases, prosecutors may offer a standard plea to those accused of first-time DUI. A judge could also suspend the six-month jail term if the defendant agrees to probation, at least 100 hours of community service, and a $500 fine. The defendant also faces a 45-day driver’s license suspension and must use an ignition interlock device for one year. Our New Britain attorneys could advise those accused of first-time DUIs on the drawbacks and benefits of accepting a plea deal.
Prior DUI Offenses and Sentencing
A first-time offender is someone without a DUI conviction in Connecticut or any other state within the past ten years. Convictions that happened more than ten years ago do not count. A person who was arrested and even convicted of DUI in the past could still count as a first offender.
Even someone arrested for DUI within the past ten years could be considered a first offender in some scenarios, such as if:
- The prosecutor opted not to pursue the earlier case
- The trial resulted in acquittal
- The case was dismissed after the driver participated in a diversion program
A New Britain DUI lawyer could work to ensure that anyone entitled to first-offender status takes advantage of it.
Administrative Penalties for DUI Offenses in New Britain
In addition to criminal penalties, the Department of Motor Vehicles takes administrative action against license holders facing DUI charges. An arrest for DUI means an automatic license suspension.
Our local attorneys could help fight a license suspension for a first-time DUI by requesting a DMV hearing. However, there is a limited amount of time to request a hearing and avoid an automatic suspension, making it crucial for drivers to contact legal counsel as soon as possible. The legal team at Ruane Attorneys can further explain the administrative consequences for a first-time DUI allegation and help a driver navigate them.
Contact a New Britain Attorney After a First-Time DUI Charge
An intoxicated driving charge may be your first interaction with the legal system. The law offers avenues for first-time offenders to avoid jail time and a permanent criminal record. Working with a lawyer is crucial to taking advantage of those options and protecting your rights.
Let Ruane Attorneys guide you through the legal process for a first-time DUI in New Britain. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your case.