Don’t Let a DUI Charge Drive Your Life Off Course
In Connecticut, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have severe and far-reaching consequences. Of the 295 people who died in car accidents in this state in 2020, 40% of them (118) involved a drunk driver. As a result, law enforcement and prosecutors take an aggressive approach to anyone charged with DUI, with even first offenders facing license suspension and up to six months in jail.
A DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate legal and financial ramifications, such as loss of employment or damage to one’s reputation. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone facing drunk driving charges in Norwich, Connecticut, to take them seriously and seek the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer.
At The Sills Law Firm, LLC, we have years of combined experience defending those accused of DUI. We understand the serious nature of these criminal charges and the significant impact they can have on your life. If you have been arrested for DUI in Norwich or the surrounding areas, you can count on our firm to provide you with aggressive and effective representation. Don’t delay- call our Norwich DUI lawyers immediately at (866) 970-9818.
How Can a Norwich DUI Charge Affect Your Future?
In this state, DUI offenses are classified based on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, prior convictions, and other factors. The criminal and administrative penalties can range from fines and license suspensions to jail time and mandatory alcohol education programs. Below is an overview of the different DUI offenses in Connecticut and their respective penalties:
- DUI (First Offense): A first-time DUI offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, and a license suspension of up to 45 days. You may also be asked to serve 100 hours of community service.
- DUI (Second Offense): A second DUI offense within ten years of the first offense is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, up to two years in jail, community service, and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to three years after license restoration.
- DUI (Third Offense): A third DUI offense within ten years of a prior offense is punishable by a fine of up to $8,000, up to three years in jail, community service, and permanent license revocation. You will have to wait two years before requesting a hearing for reconsideration.
If your DUI offense involves aggravating factors such as excessive speed, causing injury or death, or driving with a minor in the vehicle, the penalties can be more intense. You may face increased fines, longer jail sentences, and longer license suspensions.
Regardless of your DUI history, it is essential to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can advocate for you and seek the best outcome for your case.
When Charged with DUI, You Need More Than Just Any Lawyer – You Need the Best Criminal Defense Team on Your Side!
If you are arrested for DUI or any other crime, do not speak to the police until you have consulted with a lawyer. Anything you say can be used against you in court, and you may unintentionally incriminate yourself by answering questions or providing information. A Norwich criminal lawyer at The Sills Law Firm can make a difference in the outcome of your case by:
- Evaluating the Evidence: Your DUI defense lawyer can review the evidence against you, including the results of the breathalyzer or blood test, to identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the case.
- Identifying Any Violations of Your Rights: Our experienced attorneys can examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine if your constitutional rights were violated at any point during the arrest or subsequent proceedings.
- Developing a Strong Defense Strategy: We can develop a strong defense strategy to challenge the charges based on the evidence and other factors surrounding your case.
- Representing You in Court: If your case goes to trial, your DUI defense lawyer can represent you in court, presenting a strong defense and arguing on your behalf. While every case is different, we have a solid track record of positive results.
When you hire The Sills Law Firm, you get a diligent advocate who thoroughly understands CT DUI law and will use that knowledge to get the best results in your case. Our founder, Jonathan Sills, is one of Connecticut’s most experienced DUI lawyers, having tried more DUI defense cases to verdict than most other attorneys in this state, so you will benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience that few other firms can offer.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for a First Offense DUI?
Yes, absolutely! DUI charges can result in significant penalties, including fines, license suspension, and jail time, even for a first-time offender. Without legal counsel, you could say or agree to something that negatively impacts the rest of your life.
It’s critical to remember that your driving record AND criminal record are both at risk:
- If you refuse or fail a chemical alcohol test, the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend your license administratively, and this suspension will be included in your official driving record for a minimum of 10 years. Similarly, if you are found guilty of DUI under § 14-227a or complete an Alcohol Education Program, your driving record will contain a distinct note for at least 10 years.
- If you are convicted of DUI, it will appear on your criminal record. A first-time DUI conviction will be documented as a misdemeanor, while subsequent DUI convictions will be recorded as felonies.
A DUI lawyer can evaluate the evidence against you and develop a strong defense strategy to fight criminal charges. You also have the peace of mind that comes with having a legal professional on your side, fighting for your future. By hiring a DUI lawyer, even first-time DUI offenders can significantly increase their chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
What Should I Do If I’m Pulled Over by the Police?
When the police pull you over for a suspected DUI, it is important to remain calm and cooperate, even if you feel annoyed or frustrated. Avoid arguing or resisting the police officer, as this could make the situation worse. Instead, take the following steps:
- Provide your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information as requested.
- Do not admit guilt or provide any self-incriminating statements. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
- Don’t perform field sobriety tests. You are not required to perform them and it may be in your best interest to decline.
- If you are arrested, request a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak to the police until you have gotten legal advice and representation.
Following these steps can mitigate the potential consequences of a DUI charge. Remember: if you’re ever unsure of what to do, it’s always best to consult with a DUI lawyer for guidance.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
In Connecticut, you may refuse to take a breathalyzer test. However, there are consequences for doing so. Connecticut’s implied consent law means that if you refuse a breathalyzer test, your driver’s license will be suspended. This suspension can be challenged, but it’s essential to act quickly and consult with a Norwich DUI lawyer.
Additionally, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the prosecution may use your refusal against you in court as evidence of your guilt. The prosecution may argue that you refused the test because you knew you were intoxicated and wanted to avoid incriminating yourself. This is another reason why legal representation is so important: your attorney will challenge these assumptions and fight to prevent them from impacting your case.
It’s important to note that if you are arrested for DUI and refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the police officer may still obtain a warrant to draw blood for testing if there was a serious accident. In Connecticut, refusing to submit to a blood test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license.. This is another situation where a DUI lawyer can help: they can guide you through the reinstatement process or help you apply for a Special Operator’s Permit when appropriate.
Get a Free Consultation From a Norwich DUI Lawyer
If you are facing DUI charges in Connecticut, don’t delay in seeking legal help. A conviction can have serious consequences, and by working with an experienced DUI attorney, you can build a strong defense strategy and potentially avoid or reduce these penalties.
At The Sills Law Firm, our team of criminal defense attorneys has helped numerous clients navigate the complexities of DUI cases. We will review the evidence against you, challenge any procedural errors or constitutional violations, and fight to protect your legal rights. Using our extensive experience and knowledge, we will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t let a DUI charge ruin your life. Contact The Sills Law Firm today at (866) 970-9818 or use this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We have offices in Hartford and Waterbury to serve you better.