Defending Your Rights & Freedom
In Connecticut and across the country, drunk driving is perhaps the most preventable cause of car accidents. As such, it inspires aggressive enforcement measures from the police and prosecutors. Since drinking and driving encourage so much public hostility, it’s too easy to face charges that aren’t warranted or have your life impacted by intensified penalties.
If you’re charged with drunk driving in Manchester, CT, you could face license suspension, harsh fines, and jail time, even if you’ve never been arrested before. The decisions you make in the aftermath of your arrest can determine whether or not you’re convicted of DUI as well as the severity of the penalty. This means that the first thing you should do is contact a Manchester criminal defense attorney immediately.
At The Sills Law Firm, we are committed to helping you pursue the best possible outcome. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Connecticut are severe, and it is important to put our Manchester DUI defense lawyers on your side. We will analyze the evidence, build your case, and represent you tenaciously in court as you seek a favorable result. With more than 20+ years of experience, our firm will discuss your options, gather evidence, and aggressively defend your rights and interests. Contact us today to receive a free initial consultation.
Connecticut Has an Implied Consent Law
Connecticut has an implied consent law that requires drivers to consent to chemical testing for alcohol, drugs, and other controlled substances. If you refuse to take a breath test, your license could be automatically suspended for 45 days and you could be required to utilize an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for at least 1 year.. For first-time offenders or those who refuse to submit to a breath test, taking an Alcohol Education Program may allow the charges to be dismissed. First offenders may be eligible to obtain a permit to drive to work. By submitting to a breath test, you may be able to increase your chances of seeking a favorable outcome or a shorter IID term.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Connecticut
In the state of Connecticut, it is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. (Underage drivers are subject to a 0.02% BAC limit, referred to as a “zero tolerance law.” This is intended to curtail and punish underage drinking and driving.) If you have been pulled over and charged with DUI, it is important to seek experienced legal assistance as soon as possible. We will work quickly to build your case and defend you in court.
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Connecticut include:
- License suspension
- Jail sentences
- Heavy fines
- Community service
- Ignition interlock device
If you’re charged with DUI in Manchester, CT, the potential penalties will depend on whether it’s your first offense and even what kind of license you hold.
For a first offense, you could face anywhere from two days to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 unless the court decides on a six-month suspension with mandatory probation and 100 hours of community service. Once your license is reinstated, an ignition interlock device is required for one year.
For a second offense within 10 years after a prior conviction, the mandatory minimum amount of jail time is 120 consecutive days, followed by probation and 100 hours of community service. If you’re fined, the amount can be anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Your driver’s license will be also suspended for 45 days, followed by three years of driving with an ignition interlock device. To reinstate your driver’s license, you must file a Connecticut SR22 insurance form with the DMV.
With third and subsequent offenses within 10 years after a prior conviction, you could be sentenced to anywhere from one to three years in jail, followed by probation and community service. The minimum fine is $2,000 and can go as high as $8,000. Your license will also be permanently revoked, although you may seek reinstatement after two years, followed by a minimum of 15 years of ignition interlock driving. In order to reinstate your driver’s license, you will have to submit a Connecticut SR22 insurance form to the DMV.
Commercial Vehicle License Holders
Commercial vehicle drivers are held to a higher standard than normal drivers. If you hold a commercial license, you are subject to a per se BAC limit of 0.04% if driving a commercial vehicle. Anything higher can result in license suspension or permanent revocation, which can interfere with your ability to earn a living.
Can I Avoid Conviction By Going Through Any Programs?
Yes, it’s possible.
In some cases, your Manchester DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate with prosecutors or the judge to get you into a Pretrial Alcohol Education Program (PAEP). The program may consist of consecutive 12 classes that last 1.5 hours each, or it may consist of an actual treatment plan. If you complete the PAEP, your DUI charges will be dismissed.
This program is open to individuals facing DUI charges for the first time (no previous convictions) or who have not completed a similar program within the past 10 years. If you qualify, your attorney may recommend the PAEP as an effective way of dealing with your DUI situation.
Can I Go to Jail for DUI in Connecticut?
Although many first-time DUI offenders use the alcohol education program referenced above, many others are ineligible for the program. If this situation applies to you, you may be looking at accepting a plea bargain or taking your case to trial and winning.
It’s important to understand that being charged with a DUI does not mean that you will be convicted and go to jail or that you are even guilty. An experienced Manchester DUI attorney at The Sills Law Firm will closely review the evidence against you and identify any weakness in the state’s case. When you work with us, we remain dedicated to identifying the best solution for your charges, so you can put this distressing situation behind you as soon as possible.
How Can a Manchester DUI Attorney Help Me?
Prosecutors and police are strongly motivated to secure convictions, especially for charges like drinking and driving. If you represent yourself, there’s a good chance that you’ll either be convicted or agree to a deal that may not be in your best interests.
The right lawyer can help you fight a DUI charge. In some cases, a strong defense can lead to the dismissal of all charges. Other times, your lawyer can negotiate a lesser charge or penalty, such as a fine or probation instead of jail time. At The Sills Law Firm, your Manchester DUI lawyer can recognize the most beneficial outcome for your case and take steps to accomplish it.
Arrested for DUI? Call Our Manchester DUI Attorneys Today at (866) 971-3918
Being convicted of DUI can not only deprive you of the license you need to go to work, run errands, and/or attend school. It can also deprive you of your livelihood, send you to jail, and leave you with a criminal record that damages your future prospects. With so much hanging in the balance, you want to work with a Manchester DUI attorney who’s experienced, knows how to investigate a case, and is determined to help you move forward after an improper arrest or a mistake.
The Sills Law Firm passionately represents clients charged with DUI in the state of Connecticut. Attorney Jonathan Sills has been recognized by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense as one of the top DUI attorneys in Connecticut. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to hire our experienced Manchester DUI defense lawyers right away. We will use diligent strategies to protect your interests as you seek to lessen or drop the charges.
Ready to schedule a free consultation? Contact our office today.