Facing a first offense DUI in Connecticut can be a frightening prospect. Most people who are charged with their 1st DUI have never had a run-in with the law before. Most of these people are regular, law-abiding citizens that now need to traverse the difficult and complicated criminal process. In this section of our website, we review some of the common questions that our first-time DUI clients ask. If you find yourself in this situation, check out the other pages in this section for more information on first offense penalties.
1st DUI Penalties
If you are accused of a first offense DUI in Connecticut, these are the penalties that you will face:
- A jail sentence of up to six months in prison with a mandatory minus of two days.
- A fine of up to $1,000.00.
- Probation with 100 hours of community service.
- A 45-day license suspension.
- One year of ignition interlock device use on all of the vehicles that you drive.
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Keep in mind that first offenders can take advantage of a pretrial alcohol education program. Proper completion of this program will allow the DUI charge to be dropped and not go on the offender’s criminal record. There are many pros and cons to using a diversionary program, which you can discuss with a lawyer.
If you are facing a first DUI offense and an additional crime, such as reckless driving, assault with a motor vehicle, manslaughter with a motor vehicle, etc., the stakes are higher. For this reason, it is especially important to contact a DUI defense lawyer and make sure that your rights are protected.
Defending Yourself Against First Offense Penalties
There are many defenses that you can take advantage of if you are a first DUI offender. Police officers and State’s Attorneys can make mistakes when dealing with your case. Police may not have had probable cause to pull you over, may have incorrectly administered or scored standardized field sobriety tests, or may have made other errors. Those administering breath, blood, or urine tests may also have made mistakes that need to be explored in your defense. Check out our pages on common defenses and building a 1st DUI defense to learn more.
In a similar vein, you and your defense team should consider how you want to plead against the DUI charge. You should consider all of your options before you decide to plead guilty or not guilty. Working with a DUI defense lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and you make the best choice given the case that the state can build against you and the defenses that your team can bring forth. Together, you can make the right decision for your specific situation.
For help building the best defense for your first offense DUI, contact our office. We are happy to answer your questions, provide additional resources, and make sure that the court does not take advantage of you. For more information, give us a call.