If you aren’t too familiar with DUI, you might overreact about the penalties that you face. For a first time DUI offender in Connecticut, there is a good chance that you won’t serve jail time. Of course, there are special cases or extenuating circumstances. But, many first time DUI offenders are able to avoid jail time. This happens provided they have a DUI defense attorney negotiating the case on their behalf. Here are some of the most common alternatives to jail time for those facing a DUI in Connecticut.
The Pretrial Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
If you are a first time DUI offender, the state of Connecticut gives you the option of entered an alcohol education program. This is an alternative to being convicted for DUI. If you attend this program, a DUI will not be listed on your criminal record. You will not face additional punishments, such as fines or jail time. It is important to remember that the AEP is only available for first time DUI offenders. If you are a repeat offender, you will not qualify for the AEP. Also keep in mind that you must adequately complete the program for your DUI to be dismissed.
Instead of going to jail, a first time offender can oftentimes be monitored by the court through probation. A judge may assign you a probation officer that you have to check in with periodically and you might have restrictions to your life, such as a curfew, a promise not to do drugs or consume alcohol, etc.
Community service is another alternative to jail that DUI offenders can receive. Helping the community and doing something constructive is oftentimes an option for those guilty of certain crimes, such as a DUI.
If it is determined that your DUI was the result of drug or alcohol dependency, you may be ordered by the court to get treatment. Instead of going to jail, you can get help for your condition and attend a rehabilitative facility. Oftentimes, a judge will ask that you check in with the court to prove that you are getting treatment and that it is working.
Ignition Interlock Device
You may be asked to install an ignition interlock device in your car when your license suspension ends. This device will monitor your blood alcohol content to make sure that you do not drive while under the influence again.
Instead of spending time in jail, you may be asked to pay a fine to cover any damages, provide restitution to a victim, etc.
These are just a few of the common alternatives to jail time that you might experience if you have been charged with a DUI in the state of Connecticut. In my experience, the best way to prevent jail time is to hire a dedicated DUI defense lawyer. If you’d like to discuss your situation with me and learn how I can help, please contact me.