All allegations of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New Haven are serious matters. At a minimum, a case is a misdemeanor under state law, where convictions can have severe consequences. However, various factors can increase the severity of a DUI case. State law allows prosecutors to pursue aggravated DUI charges if a person has a prior DUI conviction on their criminal record or if the event results in another person’s injury.
A New Haven aggravated DUI lawyer is prepared to help you build a powerful defense against these allegations. The legal team at Ruane Attorneys could contest accusations that you violated the state’s DUI laws or argue that the aggravated charges should not apply in your case. We aim to limit the impact of a DUI arrest on your present and future.
What Factors Can Aggravate a DUI Case?
Most DUI cases in New Haven fall under the state’s core DUI statute. According to Connecticut General Statute § 14-227a, it is a misdemeanor-level offense for a person to operate a vehicle in a public area while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person may violate this law by having a blood/alcohol level of .08 percent or more. Alternatively, a police officer may make an arrest based on their observations of a driver.
Misdemeanor DUI cases allow for a potential jail sentence upon conviction, but it is more likely that a person will be required to pay fines, spend time on probation, and deal with a license suspension.
Where cases become more serious is when aggravating factors are present. Perhaps the most common is when a person has one or more prior DUI convictions on their criminal record. For example, second-offense DUI cases in New Haven can come with the following penalties:
- A jail term of between 120 days and two years
- A loss of license for at least 45 days
- Fines in the amount of $1,000 to $4,000
- 100 hours of community service
- The installation of an ignition interlock device for three years upon reinstatement of a driver’s license
Another aggravating factor in DUI cases is when another person suffers an injury or dies due to the incident. These may include people in other vehicles, pedestrians, or passengers in a defendant’s own car. A New Haven attorney at our firm could provide further information about aggravating factors in a DUI case.
Defending Against Aggravated DUI Allegations in New Haven
There are many tactics that a driver may use to dispute a DUI allegation in court. The most direct strategy involves challenging their apparent intoxicated state. If police used a blood or breath test to justify an arrest, a local aggravated DUI lawyer could contest the results of those tests.
It may also be possible to exclude the results of these tests or an officer’s observations by challenging the reason for a traffic stop. An officer must have reasonable suspicion to perform a traffic stop. Our aggravated DUI attorneys could cross-examine a police officer’s observations of a defendant’s driving to call this justification into question. Every aggravated DUI case is unique; our New Haven lawyers are ready to build a defense tailored to the situation.
Reach Out to a New Haven Aggravated DUI Attorney Immediately
Allegations of DUI are serious matters that can impact every part of your life. An aggravated DUI conviction comes with a mandatory jail sentence and will require you to pay a fine, perform community service, and lose your license for at least 45 days. It is critical that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.
A New Haven aggravated DUI lawyer is ready to fight for you. At Ruane Attorneys, we can explain the state’s DUI laws and investigate why an arrest occurred. Our legal team can also evaluate the officer’s actions and observations to build a powerful defense on your behalf. Reach out to our office now to discuss your situation with a member of our team.