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Stamford First-Offense DUI Charges

Prosecutors take Stamford first-offense DUI charges very seriously. An individual could put other people in danger by driving drunk, so prosecutors will want to produce a severe penalty in order to deter such behavior.

Typically, judges and juries are not more lenient for first-offense DUI charges in Stamford. A DUI is a charge that judges and juries take seriously because a person could hurt another individual even if they were not intending to.

If you have received a first-offense DUI charge in Stamford, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney immediately. A knowledgeable Stamford DUI lawyer can build a claim to help reduce or dismiss any penalties associated with the charge.

Diversionary Programs

The first time a person is charged with a DUI, they are eligible for Connecticut's alcohol education program, which means that the individual would be put to a diversionary program that would stop the prosecution of the person.

If the individual is successful with that diversionary program, then the charges are dismissed, erased, and the person’s record is expunged. That involves applying for the program, having the judge grant the person the program after their attorney argues for it on their behalf, and then having to take the alcohol education class in order to help ensure that the person will not get a DUI again.

Potential Penalties

To plead guilty to a person’s first-offense DUI in Stamford, the person will face six months in jail, two days of which they must serve in jail. The judge cannot suspend those two days. Also, the individual can get a $500 fine or a $1,000 fine if they do not take the diversionary program.

There is a fee to attend that program. Once there, the person will be evaluated, take 10 or 15 alcohol education classes, and if they are successful, have their charges dismissed and erased.

Building a Defense

When building a defense against first-offense DUI charges in Stamford, the first thing the attorney will do is get ahold of the police reports, review the evidence, subpoena any video tape that may have been taken from the officer’s body cam or cruiser cam, and talk to witnesses to see exactly what happened.

The lawyer will see if they can find any inconsistencies or any defenses available for what happened, as well as analyze the breathalyzer results.

Impact on a Driver’s License

What will happen to a person’s driver’s license after their first-offense Stamford DUI charge depends on if they decided to take the breathalyzer or not. The first time an individual is arrested, they will get a 45-day suspension in which they cannot drive their car.

The person is eligible for a work permit, which will allow them to drive to and from work, treatment, and court, but they cannot drive anywhere else.

After those 45 days are over, if the person took the breathalyzer, they get a six-month license suspension, or, they can have their license back if they put an ignition interlock device in their car.

If the person refuses the breathalyzer, they would have a one-year suspension where they can have their license back if they put the ignition interlock device in their car for one year.

Challenging the Suspension

If an individual pleads guilty to their first-offense DUI charge in Stamford, their license will be suspended. However, if they go through with the alcohol education program and has their case dismissed, then that will be the only suspension that they will serve.

There is a form that a person can fill out to obtain a restricted license, and an attorney can help them send it to the DMV. This form will ask for special permission to drive to and from work, court, and treatment.

Acquittal

If acquitted after a first-offense DUI charge in Stamford, the driver will get their license back immediately if the suspension is over from the initial arrest.

There are two different suspensions. There is one for the arrest then one for the conviction. If a person is acquitted and their arrest suspension is over, then they will get their license back.

Points of Note

First-offense DUI charges in Stamford are heard at the Stamford Superior Court on Hoyt Street. That is where all the crimes in Stamford are heard, including DUIs.

An individual should remember to not wait too long to get an attorney, not talk to the police when they are not required to, and to not try and leave the scene of the accident.