Charged with a Second DUI in Stamford?
Driving 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.
Felony Charges Have Further Consequences
In addition to the consequences that come along specifically with being convicted of felony DUI, the social consequences of any felony conviction can be serious. Felons are prevented from owning firearms, and may not live in certain areas, or can even be evicted from them (a landlord can evict a tenant who was convicted of a law where the violation was detrimental to the “health, safety and welfare” of other residents). Employment consequences may also follow, and in general, many opportunities will be closed to you.
There are, in some cases, defenses you can offer to a DUI charge - for example, challenging police procedures such as chain of custody, accuracy of blood or breath tests, and field sobriety tests. You may also, in some cases, be able to argue that you were not intoxicated at the time. However, any type of defense should not be mounted on your own. An experienced attorney is crucial in DUI cases to make sure that no detail is missed and your rights are protected from beginning to end.
Contact a Stamford DUI Attorney Today
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need experienced legal help to guide you through a process that is complex and frightening at the best of times. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has handled many of these types of cases, and Fairfield County criminal attorney Weiner is ready to try and help you navigate the court system. Contact our offices today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.