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Connecticut DUI defense attorneyIf you have recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, your mind may be racing with questions. You may wonder, “Will I lose my license?” or “Will I go to jail?” You may also worry about how a DUI conviction could affect your employment or educational opportunities. If you have been charged with DUI, the first thing you should do is educate yourself about your rights as a criminal defendant. One of the most important rights you have is the right to consult with a qualified attorney. Your attorney can help you build a strong defense against the charges, help you qualify for a diversion program, and represent your best interests through the proceedings.

Charges Do Not Mean Conviction

If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may still have the opportunity to avoid conviction. If the arresting officers did not have probable cause to conduct a traffic stop, the breathalyzer or other blood alcohol content (BAC) tests were inaccurate, or there were other problems with the DUI arrest, you may avoid conviction. You may also be able to participate in a pretrial diversion program. Typically, these programs require participants to participate in drug or alcohol treatment or counseling of some kind. If you complete the program, you could have your charges dismissed entirely.

Penalties for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, you face up to $1,000 in fines, up to 6 months in jail, a maximum of 100 hours of community service, and suspension of your driver’s license. To regain your ability to drive, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on each of your vehicles. This device requires you to blow into the mouthpiece to start your car. If any alcohol is detected on your breath, your vehicle will not start.

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Norwalk CT DUI defense attorneyIt is against the law in Connecticut to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more, and doing so can result in criminal charges of driving under the influence (DUI). First-time DUI offenders in Connecticut may be penalized by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines, along with the suspension of their driver’s license and the required installation of an ignition interlock device if they wish to regain driving privileges. If you have already been convicted of DUI within the past ten years and you have been charged with drunk driving for the second time, you may face even harsher penalties.

Penalties for a Second DUI Offense in Connecticut

Connecticut takes DUI offenses very seriously, and a second DUI conviction within ten years is punished differently from a first-time DUI. If you are convicted of a second DUI, you face jail time of up to two years, and unlike a first-time DUI, a second DUI results in a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days. It is possible that a second-time DUI offender may be released from jail before the 120 days are up, but some duration of jail time is likely. You will also be required to perform 100 hours of community service. The administrative penalties for a second DUI conviction include a driver’s license suspension of three years. After 45 days, you may be eligible to regain your driving privileges if you install an ignition interlock device.

How Can I Fight a Second DUI?

The consequences of a second DUI conviction in Connecticut are severe. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving and you have previously been convicted of DUI, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer right away. Remember, you have a constitutional right to remain silent and decline police questioning until your lawyer is present. Your attorney can help you develop a strong defense against your charges, and if you end up being convicted of DUI, your lawyer can help you take steps to reduce the penalties as much as possible.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI_20201016-020939_1.jpgAnyone who drives a motor vehicle with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Connecticut. An elevated BAC is defined as 0.08 percent for adults and 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. If convicted of drunk driving, an individual faces an immediate administrative driver’s license suspension and a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months. If the offender’s BAC was significantly above the legal limit, he or she has previously been convicted of DUI, or there are other aggravating factors, the penalties associated with DUI are much more severe. If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI, read on to learn about the legal defenses that may be used to avoid conviction.

Defending Against a Connecticut DUI

To secure a conviction for DUI, prosecutors must prove that a driver’s alcohol consumption led him or her to be intoxicated and therefore unable to operate a vehicle safely. DUI defenses typically fall under one of two categories:

The Evidence Used to Charge The Driver Was Inadequate or Flawed: There are several chemical tests that are used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content. The most common is a breath alcohol content test such as a Breathalyzer. Blood tests and urine tests may also be used. If the results of these tests are inaccurate, the driver’s true BAC is unknown. A Breathalyzer or other chemical BAC test may yield inaccurate results because the testing instrument was not calibrated correctly or was somehow damaged. BAC test results may also be inaccurate if the police officer or healthcare worker administrating the test administers it incorrectly. Clerical errors such as mislabeled or mixed up test results may also lead to inaccurate results.

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CT DUI lawyerDrunk driving is an offense taken very seriously by Illinois courts. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), you face an immediate administrative driver’s license suspension. If convicted, you face further criminal consequences including possible jail time. Losing your license after a DUI can make it nearly impossible for you to get to and from work, transport your children, or perform everyday tasks. Fortunately, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by participating in a driving relief program and installing a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your vehicle.

How Do Illinois BAIIDs Work?

A breath alcohol interlock device is a device that measures the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath and uses that information to calculate his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). Similar to a breathalyzer, a test subject uses a BAIID by blowing into the device’s mouthpiece. If the device detects a BAC that is above 0.025 percent, the ignition will not engage and the vehicle will not start. BAIIDs are also equipped with a camera that takes a photograph of the test subject. This ensures that the person providing the breath sample is the person for whom the device is intended. There is no way to “cheat” a BAIID. Mints, gum, candy, mouthwash, or other rumored tactics cannot allow an inebriated driver to start his or her car once the BAIID is installed. Furthermore, misusing a BAIID may lead to a lengthened driver’s license suspension period and additional criminal consequences.

BAIIDs Are Required for a Monitoring Device Permit or Restricted Driving Permit

If you have been convicted of a first-time DUI, you may be able to regain your driving privileges through a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). As a condition of this permit, you will need to have a BAIID installed in any vehicle you plan on driving. Driving a vehicle that does not have a BAIID installed in it once you have received a MDDP is against the law. If you have been charged or convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, you may be able to restore limited driving privileges through a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). To obtain an RDP, you will need to prove that a hardship exists, participate in a professional drug and alcohol evaluation, attend a hearing, and have a BAIID installed in your vehicle.

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CT DUI lawyerDriving while under the influence in Connecticut is a very serious crime, with the potential to cause fatalities and injuries not only to the people involved, but also to pedestrians. If you are charged with one, the consequences will be serious, but a second DUI ups the proverbial stakes, and there will be far fewer chances to try and seek a lesser sentence. An attorney is absolutely crucial at this stage in order to protect your rights.

First vs Second Offense

Driving while under the influence is a crime in Connecticut, with a first offense being a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail plus a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 45 days and your car will be fitted with an ignition interlock device for up to one year. This is all in addition to probation, which has expensive fees that can add up. Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to seek entry into a pretrial diversion program, which can result in your charges being dismissed if you comply with all the required terms.

Even if you do complete a pretrial diversion program and have your first offense effectively erased, a second DUI charge is considered more serious. A second DUI is always a felony charge, carrying a prison term of anywhere between four months and two years, along with a fine of up to $4,000, ignition interlock for three years, license suspension, and probation. With a second DUI, probation will also usually include more requirements, such as community service and alcohol education.

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