Arrested for a DUI in Providence? Learn what you should do if it happens to you.
Are you facing DUI charges in Providence, Rhode Island? There's no doubt that this is both a scary and stressful time for anyone. After being pulled over for a DUI, you're likely wondering what the next step should be and what kind of penalties you're looking at. Fortunately, we are here to help you fight the charges you're facing. Find out below what the process looks like and what your options are.
DUI in Providence, Rhode Island
First, let's discuss the basics surrounding a DUI charge. In Rhode Island, driving while intoxicated (DUI) is considered a misdemeanor for first time offenders. The consequences you face increase greatly for repeat offenses. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of the incident can also play a factor in how severe your consequences are. It's important to know that driving with a BAC of .08 or above is considered illegal throughout the state and the rest of the country. This level is the standard measurement for what is deemed an “impaired” driver.
If you are pulled over under the suspicion of DUI, you will likely be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. It's a common misconception that your only choice is to submit to the test. You actually can choose to refuse the breathalyzer test. However, there are consequences for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer. If you decide not to take the test at the time of the incident, police may charge you with a second, separate offense for refusing to submit. Your driver's license will also be suspended as a result of the refusal. It's important to weight your options carefully in this situation. The primary reason some choose not to submit to the breathalyzer test is because those results can then be used against you in court, which can provide enough evidence to convict you of a DUI.
How your DUI is handled will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your particular case. Typically, after being arrested, you will be required to attend an arraignment at District Court. At this arraignment, you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You will also be given the option to ask for a jury trial, as opposed to a bench trial. For those who refused the chemical test or the blood test, you will be also arraigned at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal located in Cranston. Refusals to submit to a chemical or blood test will be treated as a civil matter.
Penalties for a DUI
Being convicted of a DUI is a very serious offense and can come with some severe penalties. These penalties can cause you to lose your job and even your freedom if you are sentenced to time in jail. A conviction can also be very costly financially because you will likely be required to pay exorbitant fees and court costs. As mentioned before, the penalties increase with every offense you acquire.
For the first DUI offense in Providence, Rhode Island, the possible penalties 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 Providence, 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 Providence, 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.
Not only do you face the penalties outlined above, but there are even more consequences that can come up as a result of a DUI conviction. You may also be required to complete a set amount of community service hours. In some cases, a driver retraining course or alcohol program is required to be completed. Whether or not these are possible penalties for you will depend on your particular case, such as how many offenses you've had, your BAC level, and more.
License suspension is one of the most common punishments when charged with a DUI. While it may not seem that serious at first, the reality is that losing your license for an extended period of time can result in the loss of your job. Your car insurance rates will likely increase as a result of the charge, which makes it even more expensive. Finally, a DUI could also stay on your record for five years or more, which could impact you personally when searching for a new job or trying to rent an apartment. You don't want this type of charge blemishing your record or impacting you further even after the case has been closed.
Contact Us for an Experienced Providence, RI DUI Attorney
It's important to have an experienced Providence, Rhode Island DUI attorney by your side to walk you through every step of the process. With the help of the right attorney, you stand a chance at lowering the penalties you face or even getting the charges dropped altogether. As your attorney, Kensley Barrett will fight to keep you out of jail and work to lessen the impact these charges could have on your personal life.
Kensley has years of experience handling DUIs in Providence, Rhode Island. He is knowledgeable about the DUI laws throughout the state and will put together a strong defense to help you receive the best possible outcome in the courtroom. A DUI conviction can come with some severe, life-altering consequences and it's crucial you take the potential charges seriously by choosing the right attorney to take on your case.