No one plans on getting a Norwich DUI, but if you find yourself in this position for the first time, there is some information that you need in order to understand what to do and how to protect yourself. If you are facing a first offense DUI in Connecticut, read on to learn more about what to do.
If you are suspected of driving under the influence in Norwich and violating traffic laws in some way, the police have the right to stop your vehicle and determine if they should proceed further. After being stopped, if the police notice signs of intoxication, they may ask you to take a breath test and/or to take the standardized field sobriety tests.
Refusing the breath test will result in an automatic license suspension, since it is a violation of Connecticut’s implied consent law. However, you can refuse the standardized field sobriety tests with no fear of consequences. While the police may try to scare you or trick you into taking these tests, remember that you do not have to.
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If you are charged with DUI for the first time, the police may ask for additional tests such as urine tests or blood tests. You will be processed at the local police station and then an arraignment will occur. At the arraignment, a judge will determine if bail should be afforded in your case and, if so, how much. If you can post bail, you can stay out of jail while your case is pending. If bail is denied or you cannot afford it, you will have to stay in police custody while the case is pending.
Make sure that you attend all of your scheduled court dates. It is a good idea to hire a Norwich DUI defense lawyer who has dealt with first offenses before. They can advise you on how to plea, negotiate with the prosecutor, advise you on taking your case to trial, and establish the best defenses given your situation.
First Offense Penalties
While a first DUI offense in Connecticut is not treated as seriously as a second, third, or subsequent offense, there are still penalties associated with this crime that you will want to avoid if possible. While first offenders usually do not go to jail, this is a possibility. The first offense carries a jail sentence of up to six months as a penalty. In addition, you could face probation, community service, substance abuse treatment, and a fine of up to $1,000.
The DMV will impose its own penalties in the event of a first offense arrest. Even if you are found not guilty in court, the DMV can still suspend your driver’s license and require that you install an ignition interlock device on each vehicle that you drive for a period of time after the suspension is lifted. This can impact your ability to work, get to school, or just generally live your life.
The Help You Need
At Lady DUI, we can provide the help that you need if you face a first offense DUI in Norwich or the surrounding area. We have worked cases in the New London Courthouse for years and know the local police, judges, and prosecutors. If you are facing this charge, do not leave your fate to chance – contact us for help today.