Connecticut Consequences for Repeat DUI Offenders Are Severe
Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is seen as one of the most reckless and dangerous crimes one can commit without having the malicious intent to harm anyone. The penalties, even for a first-time offender, can be quite serious. However, if you are caught driving under the influence again in Connecticut, the penalties are even more serious and no leniency will be granted to you as a repeat offender. If you have been charged with a second or third DUI, you need an attorney well versed in these types of cases to stand up for your rights.
A Second DUI Is a Felony
In Connecticut, the 10-year period after you are convicted of DUI is the key to keeping your criminal record clear. A first DUI is often charged as a misdemeanor if no one has been injured or killed, and as such, the person may be eligible for pretrial diversion programs and other rehabilitative options instead of having to serve a prison sentence. If you are convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of the first, you will automatically be charged as a felony, regardless of whether the DUI caused injury, death, property damage, or no damage at all.
A second DUI in 10 years being charged as a felony means that no pretrial diversion is available; if you are sentenced to prison at trial, you must serve that prison sentence. Connecticut law allows a sentence of between 45 and 730 days (two years) for any DUI beyond the first offense, as well as fines of up to $4,000 and a driver’s license suspension for up to three years, depending on the specific nature of your actions.
Subsequent DUIs Can Lead to Permanent Consequences
A third or fourth DUI works very similarly to a second, except the consequences are even stiffer. Fines can rise as high as $8,000, and the incarceration time can go up to three years, even if no injury or death results from your driving under the influence. Perhaps most significantly, a third DUI can result in the permanent loss of your driver’s license. There are options so that you can still attend work, but your license must stay suspended for at least one year in order for you to qualify for any kind of reinstatement possibility, and you will almost certainly be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car for the remainder of your driving time.
All of this is in addition to the mark on your criminal record, which can affect your ability to acquire housing and employment, as well as any other personal consequences like divorce or child custody changes that may occur if you rack up multiple DUIs. The best option is to try and avoid such consequences in the first place - but if you do make a mistake, you are entitled to a good defense.
Call a Stamford DUI Attorney
DUIs are potentially life-changing, and if you have been charged with a second or third, you need an experienced attorney who understands the potential consequences. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has years of experience in handling DUIs, and Mr. Weiner can put his knowledge at your disposal. Contact a skilled Stamford criminal defense attorney at our office at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.