Have you been charged with a DUI in Newport, RI? Here are some tips to help you.
re you facing DUI charges in Newport, Rhode Island? Dealing with a DUI can be a challenging time and it's important to be educated on what may happen next when it comes to your case. If you're wondering what your next step should be and the potential penalties you could be facing, we are here to help. Find out below what the process looks like when fighting a DUI charge and what your options may be.
DUI in Newport, Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island has really started cracking down on those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). It's a serious offense that comes with some pretty hefty penalties if you are convicted of the crime. In fact, Rhode Island considers a DUI to be a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. While the penalties for first-time offenders can be life-altering, they get even more serious for second and third offenses. We will outline some possible penalties below.
Anyone who is found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher, is deemed to be an “impaired” driver and can be charged with a DUI. This is the standard measurement for impaired driving and is used throughout the country to determine whether or not someone is too intoxicated to drive safely.
Should You Refuse a Breathalyzer?
At the time of being pulled over under the suspicion of DUI, you will likely be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. You do not have to submit to this test. It is your decision whether or not you choose to take this test, however there are consequences either way. It's important to know what will happen whether you choose to take the breathalyzer test or not.
If you decide not to take the breathalyzer test at the time of the incident, the police may charge you with a second, separate offense for refusing to submit. Your driver's license will also be suspended as a result, which can have a direct impact on your personal life. However, many choose not to submit to the test because if you do, the results can be used against you in court. The results of your breathalyzer test can provide the court with enough evidence to convict you of a DUI.
Taking Your Case to Court
After being arrested, you are typically required to attend an arraignment at District court. You will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at this arraignment. During this time, you will also have the opportunity to request a jury trial, as opposed to a bench trial. If you refused to submit to the chemical test or the blood test, you will also be arraigned at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal located in Cranston. These refusals to submit to a chemical or blood test are handled as civil matters.
Penalties for a DUI in Newport, Rhode Island
It's no surprise that DUI charges are taken very seriously and the penalties you face can dramatically alter your life. If convicted, you face a license suspension which could result in the loss of your job if you aren't able to make it to work each day. You also face jail time, which can strip you of your freedom. A DUI conviction will also go on your public record, which anyone can access. This information can make it difficult to secure future employment or even rent an apartment if a potential landlord finds out.
For the first DUI offense in Newport, Rhode Island, the possible consequences you face include: up to one year in jail, fines and penalties ranging from $100 to $500, and driver's license suspension for two to 18 months. An Ignition Interlock Device will not be required for first-time offenders.
For the second DUI offense in Newport, Rhode Island, the possible penalties you face include: 10 days to one year in jail, fines and penalties ranging from $400 to $1,000, and driver's license suspension for one to two years. An Ignition Interlock Device is required on your vehicle if you receive a second offense.
For the third DUI offense in Newport, Rhode Island, the possible penalties you face include: one to five years in jail, fines and penalties ranging from $400 to $5,000, and driver's license suspension for a minimum of two years. An Ignition Interlock Device is also required for third offenses.
Other penalties you face include the completion of community service, a driver retraining course, or an alcohol program. And as if the fines weren't enough, a DUI conviction can be even more costly if your car insurance rates skyrocket as a result of the charge. Being convicted of a DUI will continue to follow you outside the courtroom, long after the case has closed.
Contact Us for an Experienced Newport, Rhode Island DUI Attorney
Remember that you don't have to plead guilty to the DUI charges you are facing. You can fight your case and work to get the penalties lowered, or possibly dropped, with the help of the right attorney. An experienced Newport, Rhode Island DUI attorney will fight for your rights and work hard to keep you out of jail and to minimize the impact these charges have on your life. We will prepare to take your case to court and keep you informed throughout every step of the legal process.
Kensley Barrett has years of experience handling DUIs in Newport, Rhode Island. He is knowledgeable on the DUI laws within the state and will put together a strong defense to help you achieve the best possible outcome in court. His number one priority, as your attorney, is to keep you out of jail and to make sure these charges don't do too much damage to your personal life. Don't accept the DUI charges you're facing. Hire an experienced attorney to fight for you. You can contact our office today to schedule a consultation and discuss what your options are.