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DUI / DWI Arrests in Greenwich, Connecticut (Part 2 of 3)

DUI / DWI Arrests in Greenwich, Connecticut
(Part 2 of 3)

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Your First Day in Court for Your Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrest

Many of the best Greenwich Connecticut criminal law firms hear from people who thought they could go to court on their own and handle their arrest for their Greenwich 14-227a DUI / DWI arrest and get it dropped on the first court date. Unfortunately, with so many moving pieces and with Connecticut’s tough stance on drunk driving, this is pure fantasy. Because Connecticut has allocated millions of dollars to fund DUI checkpoints and other anti-drunk driving campaigns, Greenwich police are no longer giving out warnings for DUI / DWI arrests. It is actually just the opposite – especially when you have a high blood alcohol content (known as “BAC”) or if there is a serious physical injury or damage to someone’s property. In these cases, Connecticut prosecutors will be looking for a conviction. That conviction comes with a permanent criminal record, along with 18 to 24 months of probation.

The take-away here is not to go into Stamford court alone for your Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest. It is worth having a top Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI lawyer right there with you from the beginning. They will carefully scrutinize the police reports in your case, file motions with the court to preserve any audio or video recordings, and determine whether the Greenwich Connecticut police properly followed all of their protocols as they administered the Field Sobriety and breathalyzer tests. That’s why starting your Greenwich DUI case with an aggressive and clear defense strategy on day one of your court case is critical.

First Time Offender Arrests for Greenwich Connecticut DUIs / DWIs

If you have been arrested in Greenwich Connecticut for DUI / OUI / DWI under C.G.S. § 14-227a for the first time, then you will usually have three options in court. Option One is you can fight your Greenwich Connecticut DUI arrest, possibly all the way to a trial. The second choice is to plead guilty via plea bargain to avoid jail, which would leave you facing another license suspension, permanent criminal record, stiff fines and probation. Choice 3 is to refuse to plead guilty, refuse to make any kind of deal or plea bargain with the prosecutor, and to go directly to the judge and apply for the Alcohol Education Program, which – if granted by the judge – would allow you to attend court-ordered alcohol education classes and then earn a complete dismissal and erasure of your Greenwich Connecticut DUI arrest.

If you have a good job, a family, or a personal or professional reputation to maintain, then Option 3 is usually the best way to get your first time Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest dismissed. Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program is a one-year program, created by the Connecticut legislature that requires you to attend 10 to 15 alcohol education classes. And if you have personal or work scheduling conflicts, then sometimes your top Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyer attorney can get special permission for you to attend a New Hampshire-based “Amethyst” DWI program so you can knock out your classes in one weekend.

Be warned, however, that getting admitted into the Alcohol Education Program is not automatic. There is no guarantee that the judge will grant your application. Prosecutors in Stamford Superior Court often object, especially if your Greenwich police reports reveal a high BAC, or if there were any injuries or serious property damage. Also, if you were arrested in New York in the past for a DWI or DUI, but pled guilty to a Driving While Ability Impaired (or 1192 “DWAI”) reduced charge, then the Stamford prosecutor might also object on that ground, arguing that you are not a true “first time” offender under Connecticut law. Needless to say, there is a lot on the line if you decide to go forward with an Alcohol Education Program (or “AEP”) application. And with only one chance to get the AEP, it’s worth contacting a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorney to make sure that your application is handled correctly from the beginning to give you the best opportunity to get your Greenwich DUI arrest dismissed and erased from your record. For more about Connecticut’s first time offender program for your Greenwich C.G.S. § 14-227a drunk driving arrest, click here.

Greenwich Connecticut Second Time & Repeat Offender DUI / DWI Arrests

If you are facing a Greenwich DUI / DWI arrest and you already have a CGS 14-227a arrest or conviction on your record, then the penalties can be much more severe. According to Connecticut DUI / DWI repeat offender laws, you essentially have 3 strikes before you go to jail (and 2 strikes before you get a criminal conviction). Top Greenwich Connecticut criminal law firms will tell you that if you are arrested for a first time Connecticut DUI, then you are likely eligible for the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program described above. A second-time Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest can result in a misdemeanor conviction, a period of probation, an additional license suspension, and possibly some time in jail. A third time arrest for a DUI in Greenwich Connecticut can expose you to a felony DUI conviction, up to 2 years in jail, including a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail, which cannot be suspended, and potential permanent revocation of your driver’s license.

If you have been arrested as a second time or repeat offender for a Greenwich Connecticut DUI / DWI, the penalties are severe. Contacting a top Greenwich Connecticut DUI lawyer to determine whether to fight your charges or to work on plea negotiations for a possible reduction of your Connecticut DUI charges is certainly worth the time and cost of a consultation. Often, fighting a Greenwich DUI or DWI arrest can lead to a reclassification of your second time offender Greenwich DUI arrest to first time offender status, which would avoid a felony conviction and possibly avoid jail time entirely. So do not rush into any quick decisions. Be sure to call an experienced Greenwich Connecticut criminal law firm who can help you weigh your options and conduct a risk-benefit / cost-benefit analysis for your particular case facts and circumstances.

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