One of the most pressing issues that a person will face if they are charged with a Connecticut DUI is the potential for serving jail time. The good news is that in many cases, jail can be avoided for first and even second-time offenders. You can learn more about jail sentences for different DUI offenses on this page, and how to avoid jail time.
First, Second, Third, and Subsequent Offenses
For a first offense DUI in Connecticut, the potential jail sentence that goes along with this crime is a six month jail sentence with a mandatory minimum of serving two days in jail. For a second offense DUI in Connecticut, the potential sentence is up to two years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 days. For a third or subsequent offense DUI in Connecticut, you face up to three years in prison, and the mandatory minimum served sentence is one year.
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While I know that the penalties mentioned above can be extremely frightening, it is important to note that there are many alternatives to jail time that you can take advantage of. First, consider that first-time offenders are eligible for a diversionary program in Connecticut.
If you are eligible for this program and you successfully complete it, it means that your DUI charge will be dropped and you will not face conviction or any of the penalties associated with it, such as jail time. The court will keep track of your participation in this program, but you will not face conviction or additional penalties from the court if you complete the program. Just keep in mind that once you use this program option, you cannot use it again.
Another option that is available to you is a suspension of your sentence. For first, second, third, and subsequent offenders, the possibility of probation and community service instead of serving jail time is oftentimes available. Again, this is more likely for first or second offenders, but it is possible for anyone facing a DUI charge depending on their circumstances.
If probation is granted, it means that you can spend a minimum amount of time in jail or the sentence can be suspended for a period of probation as an alternative. If probation is granted for your case, you should take it seriously. If you do anything to violate your probation, the court can suspend your probation, in which case you will need to serve the jail or prison sentence associated with your DUI conviction.
One thing that is especially important to keep in mind is to avoid picking up a new criminal charge while you are on probation. In some cases, other minor indiscretions may be overlooked by the court, such as not abiding by a curfew, skipping a meeting with your probation officer, etc. However, the court will not overlook a new criminal charge against you. In most cases, this is a serious issue and will result in you going back to jail or prison.
If you are charged with a Connecticut DUI, it is best to be proactive and contact a DUI defense lawyer to assist you with your case. This is the best way to argue for yourself and, in the event of a conviction, the best way to manage the consequences and advocate for minimal penalties. For more information on establishing the best defense, contact us.