Experienced and Aggressive Defense for Your DUI Case
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one million arrests are made across the U.S. each year for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean that you can expect lenient treatment from police or prosecutors. Quite the opposite.
Drunk driving, also known as driving under the influence (DUI), is one of the most serious traffic offenses you can face in Connecticut. In addition to jail time and expensive fines, a DUI conviction can impact your insurance rates, job prospects, and other major aspects of your life. If you’re charged in Bridgeport, CT, the first thing you want to do is hire a Bridgeport criminal lawyer who can help you fight for your future.
At The Sills Law Firm, LLC, we have been defending those charged with DUI for over 20 years. We don’t back away from difficult cases and our Bridgeport DUI lawyers are known for their custom approach and creative solutions for each case. Founding attorney Jonathan Sills is a recognized authority on a wide range of Connecticut DUI cases, and everyone on our legal team takes the same diligent approach to client cases. To learn more or request legal representation, please call (866) 970-9818 and schedule an initial consultation.
Connecticut DUI Law
Connecticut DUI law prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The state has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age and 0.02% for underage drivers.
Penalties for a first-time DUI offense in Connecticut can include a fine of up to $1,000, a jail sentence of up to 6 months, and a license suspension of up to 45 days. In addition:
- First-time offenders may be required to attend an alcohol education or treatment program, and install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle.
- Subsequent DUI offenses carry harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.
- Drivers with a BAC of 0.16% or higher may also face enhanced penalties.
The implied consent laws in Connecticut also mean that if you are suspected of driving under the influence on state roads, you are deemed to have consented to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. Refusing to take a chemical test can result in an automatic license suspension and other penalties.
How Our Bridgeport Criminal Lawyers Can Help
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need and deserve trustworthy legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from The Sills Law Firm, LLC can protect your rights and advise you on your next steps.
Some of the ways that we can help you fight DUI charges include:
- Challenging the Traffic Stop: The evidence against you may be suppressed if the police stopped your vehicle without a valid reason.
- Challenging the Field Sobriety Tests: Drivers often undergo standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) to determine whether they are impaired, but these tests are subjective and unreliable.
- Disputing Chemical Test Results: Breathalyzer and blood tests can be challenged on the basis of faulty equipment, improper administration, and even medical conditions that may affect the accuracy of the results.
- Seeking the Most Favorable Outcome: If we can’t get the DUI charges dropped, we can represent you in court, present evidence in your favor, and argue on your behalf.
A DUI lawyer at our firm can make a huge difference in your case by providing experienced criminal defense representation. We can help you understand the charges against you, explain your legal rights and options, and develop an effective defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case. Our goal is always to mitigate and even prevent the potential consequences of a DUI conviction, such as license suspension, fines, and jail time.
Can I Get a DUI for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?
Yes, you can be charged with a DUI in Connecticut for driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug that impairs your ability to drive. In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs that renders you incapable of driving safely.
Unlike alcohol, Connecticut has no legal limit on how much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) you can have in your blood while operating a motor vehicle. However, if the police officer observes that you are impaired by drugs, you can be arrested. Among the things the police look for are the odor of marijuana, confusion, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. So in this sense, whether you are ‘impaired’ or not tends to be based on the arresting officer’s observations.
It is harder for the state to prove a marijuana DUI case. It is important to contact a criminal defense law firm if you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, as you may be able to claim a strong defense.
Can I Plea Down a DUI Charge in Bridgeport, CT?
No. In Connecticut, state attorneys are prohibited from reducing charges in DUI cases. Unlike other states, they are unable to drop DUI charges in exchange for you pleading guilty to speeding or reckless driving. Prosecutors can only drop a case in Connecticut if they state on the record why they cannot prove the allegations.
For a first-time DUI offender, most state attorneys will offer sentence reductions. For first-time offenders, the minimum offer includes:
- A fully suspended six-month jail sentence
- A fine of $500 plus fees and costs
- 100 hours of community service
- 18 months of probation
Your Bridgeport DUI lawyer will advise whether seeking this offer is in your best interests.
Can I Expunge a DUI From My Record?
In Connecticut, a DUI conviction cannot be expunged or completely erased from your criminal record. However, there are certain limited circumstances in which a DUI conviction can be pardoned.
One option is to request a pardon from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, which has the authority to grant absolute pardons for certain types of criminal offenses, including DUIs. To be eligible, you must wait three years for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony criminal conviction. In addition, you must not:
- Have any pending criminal charges or open cases against you
- Currently be on probation or parole.
- Have any nolle prosequi charges within the previous 13 months.
Pardons and erasures in Connecticut can be complex, so it’s always advisable to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you on your eligibility for record expungement.
Questions? Get a Free Consultation From a Bridgeport DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI in Bridgeport, Connecticut, it is important to take the charges seriously and act quickly to protect your rights and future. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, so it’s crucial to work with a Bridgeport DUI defense attorney who can help you develop the strongest defense strategy for your case.
A DUI defense lawyer at The Sills Law Firm can review the evidence against you, challenge any procedural errors or constitutional violations, and represent you in court if necessary. You can rely on them to use their knowledge and extensive experience to get the best result for your DUI charges.
If you’ve been arrested, don’t hesitate! Call (866) 970-9818 or use this contact form so we can provide you with critical legal advice and get started on your defense. We have offices in Hartford and Waterbury to better serve you.