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Darien First Offense DUI Lawyer

Darien treats first offense DUI cases incredibly seriously. An individual will often face penalties including both fines and jail time, which can seriously harm both an individual’s personal and professional lives. Such charges are heard in Stamford Superior Court.

To properly navigate a DUI charge, an individual should consult with a Darien first offense DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to help minimize or dismiss any potential penalties associated with the charge.

Proving the Charge

The way prosecutors handle first offense DUI charges depend on many different factors. Many prosecutors consider whether there was an accident, whether anyone was seriously injured, whether the person tried to evade the scene of an accident, or, on the other hand, whether it was a minor motor vehicle infraction that led them to be pulled over.

The prosecutors also look at the level of alcohol that is allegedly in the person's system. Depending on those factors, the prosecutor will determine how to handle the case. That will make the difference as to whether they are looking for a conviction or whether they would be in support of a first time, pre-trial alcohol education program application.

Treatment by the Court

How courts tend to treat first offense DUI charges depends on the same factors prosecutors use. They want to know whether there is an injury, first and foremost, to either property or to any passenger, or if the car hits another car, to those passengers.

The court could be a lot more lenient if no one was injured and if there is no serious property damage. A first offense DUI lawyer in Darien can help an individual understand what to expect with their DUI charge.

Potential Penalties

If it is the person's first time they are arrested for DUI, they are most likely eligible, if no one was seriously injured, for the pre-trial alcohol education program. That is a diversionary program that happens before the charge ever goes on the trial list. This consists of alcohol education classes.

If the person successfully completes the program, they can earn a dismissal of their charges and an expungement from their records. That makes it a great option for a Darien first offense DUI attorney to try to get for their client.

Building a Defense

When first offense DUI lawyers in Darien are building a defense, they will examine a few key elements. They will look to determine the leverage point, which are things like no accidents, a clean record, and relatively low BAC.

As far as evidence, if a lawyer thinks it may benefit the case, they will subpoena surveillance footage or the police booking videos to show that their client was acting and behaving like a sober person would to show that they were not so intoxicated.

Impact on a Driver’s License

Once an individual is arrested for a DUI, within a couple of weeks, they will get a notice from the Connecticut DMV letting them know that their license will be suspended for 45 days. This is a consequence from the arrest, even if the individual is not convicted.

After they serve their 45-day suspension, they are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car for a period of time as well. If they are later convicted of the charge, that would trigger the same 45-day suspension and the IID requirement.

However, if the person has already served that suspension based on the arrest, it will credit toward the convicted individual’s suspension. There is technically only one suspension per case although the individual will sometimes have to work with the DMV to make sure they get credit for it. A Darien first offense DUI lawyer can help an individual understand the license suspension surrounding their charge.

Challenging the Suspension

There are ways to challenge an individual’s license suspension. Once a person receives their suspension notice in the mail, they have a limited amount of time to submit a challenge to the suspension.

It is crucial to get in touch with a Darien first offense DUI lawyer immediately so an individual does not miss the window to request a hearing. At the hearing, ways to challenge the charge are to say that there is no probable cause for the arrest or that the person was not operating the car.

Restoring the License

Individuals are eventually able to restore their licenses. Once they have served the suspension and once they have had the IID in their car for the mandated amount of time, they can restore their licenses by paying a fee to the DMV.

It costs $175.00 for the restoration fee. The IID, however, comes with its whole own set of costs.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake that an individual should avoid when being charged with a DUI is pleading guilty. Many people challenge the case without a Darien first offense DUI attorney and are offered a guilty plea with a fine or with limited probation.

Rather than applying for the alcohol education program or retaining an attorney, an individual will want to get the case over with and will try to save money by not having a lawyer. This can hurt an individual in the long run, as they end up having a criminal record when it is quite possible that they would have been able to avoid it.