Fighting back against an allegation that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be challenging. The prosecution may use testimony from the police officer who arrested you and the results of any blood alcohol or field sobriety tests to build a case against you. Without an experienced criminal defense attorney, you could face significant criminal penalties upon conviction.
Fortunately, assistance is available from a New London DUI lawyer who knows how to handle these allegations and defend your rights. Whether you have been convicted of DUI in the past or have never even been inside a criminal courtroom before, Ruane Attorneys could provide the representation you need throughout the legal process.
What to Do After a First-Time DUI
In Connecticut, someone can be charged with and convicted of DUI in two ways: if a police officer pulls them over and determines that they are impaired by alcohol or any other substance, or if they are tested and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. For most drivers, the legal BAC limit is 0.08 percent. However, that limit is lowered to 0.04 percent for drivers with commercial driver’s licenses operating commercial vehicles and to 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21.
Being convicted of DUI for the first time will almost always result in a 45-day driver’s license suspension, followed by at least one year of mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation. Defendants may also be subject to fines of between $500 and $1,000, mandatory community service, up to six months of jail time, and up to six months of probation.
It is worth emphasizing that courts will not always impose the maximum penalties state law allows against first-time offenders. A New London DUI attorney could be vital in negotiating for less severe sanctions. For instance, legal counsel could help pursue options for participation in drug or alcohol treatment as an alternative to criminal prosecution.
Enhanced Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenders in New London
Connecticut criminal courts tend to be much harsher on repeat criminal offenders regarding DUI charges. State law expressly allows for harsher penalties against second-time DUI offenders, including fines of $1,000 to $4,000, between 120 days and two years of jail time, and a three-year IID installation period following the standard 45-day license suspension.
Individuals convicted of DUI a third or subsequent time may have their charge upgraded to a felony punishable by between $2,000 and $8,000 in fines, one to three years of imprisonment, and license revocation for a minimum of two years followed by mandatory IID installation for a minimum of 15 years. Anyone who allegedly drives while intoxicated and causes a crash resulting in serious injury may face felony-level consequences, as a DUI lawyer at our firm in New London could further explain. Legal representation is crucial when the stakes are this high.
Talk to a New London DUI Attorney About Legal Options
DUI charges can have extremely high stakes if not handled effectively. Upon conviction, you face jail time, significant fines, and a permanent mark on your record that can affect you for years to come. This is not an allegation that you should try to handle alone.
Instead, you should speak with a New London DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to get a head start on constructing your defense. Call Ruane Attorneys today to schedule a consultation and learn your options for protecting your rights.