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Your Car and License After a DUID Arrest in Stamford

There are many things that can happen to your car and license after a DUID arrest in Stamford. These legal processes can sometimes be overwhelming, and are often difficult for an individual to understand. A DUID arrest can often seriously impact an individual's personal and professional lives, and cause many unnecessary burdens. If you have been charged with a DUID in Stamford, it is pertinent that you hire an attorney immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to build a strong defense to help minimize any consequences you are facing.

Initial Steps

Following a DUID arrest, an individual's car and license will be affected by a series of legal processes. First, an individual is not allowed to drive for 24 hours. This is a temporary 24-hour suspension. The thought from law enforcement is that an individual is too intoxicated to drive, and the alcohol or substance needs sufficient time to leave the system. The police often take an individual's driver's license to Stamford police and tell them to come and retrieve it.

It is important for an individual to not drive themselves to the police station, but to have someone else drive them. The police can sometimes arrest an individual for driving when they come to get their license within that 24-hour suspension period. If an individual does not pick it up quickly enough, then the Stamford police will sometimes send it back to the DMV. It will then be a couple of weeks before an individual is able to obtain their driver's license again.

Searching of the Vehicle

After a DUID arrest in Stamford, the car is then towed, and if the police suspect there is contraband in the car like marijuana or prescription drugs, they apply for a search warrant and try to search the car. However, an individual does not have to give the police permission to search their car. It is recommended that an individual let the officers satisfy their burden of proof to search the car. That is something they must do independently. Sometimes, the police will search it anyway under a special caveat in the law. However, it is important that an individual make them invoke that and put them to their proof.

If Stamford Police find illegal substances in the car, they can charge an individual with additional charges such as possession of marijuana, possession of prescription pills, or possession of narcotics. Pills found outside of their prescription bottle is a crime and one that is quite frequently charged. All of these factors make it important for the individual to not give the police consent to search the vehicle.

Notifying an Employer

Sometimes, when an individual is arrested for a DUID, they will need to tell their employer. The relationship between employer and employee is governed very strictly by rules and regulations, often by documents in an employee handbook. If an individual is a good employee, then most employers will give them the benefit of the doubt and presume they are innocent until proven guilty.

However, if an individual does not disclose the arrest to certain employers, that could be a violation of a policy that triggers a termination. So, sometimes, not telling an employer about the arrest is a much easier way for an employer to fire the individual versus firing them for getting arrested. What is key to remember is that an arrest is just an accusation, and that it is not a finding of guilt.

An individual should always work with a lawyer to read and analyze the employee handbook to see if they have any reporting requirements, especially if they work in the finance or health care industry where DUIDs are taken very seriously.

Severity of the Charge

When an individual is granted the Alcohol Education Program for a Stamford DUID, the prosecution is suspended by the judge. If the judge grants an individual's motion, then the case is dismissed, erased, and expunged. A person is eligible for the AEP every ten years. 

However, if the individual has already had the alcohol education program or the judge denies their application for the AEP, an individual is at risk of being a first-time offender. That means that the person will have a conviction if they plead guilty or are found guilty at trial. At that point, a person will face stiffer penalties. A first-time Stamford DUID crime is a misdemeanor, but carries 30 days of jail, two days of which are a mandatory minimum, and up to two years of probation, fines, and a suspension of a driver's license.

If an individual is considered a second-time DUID offender in Stamford, meaning they already have a prior conviction, then they will face second-time offender penalties. If an individual is convicted for a DUID more than ten years prior, then they could possibly be eligible for a first-time offender deal. However, if they have a conviction within 10 years, then they are automatically a second-time offender and will need to have their lawyer convince the prosecutor to give them a first-time offender plea offer.

A second-time offender penalty involves 120 days of a mandatory minimum jail sentence, up to three years of jail, and three years of a driver's license suspension. Further, this charge is considered a felony. A third-time offender carries a lifetime suspension of the driver's license and a one-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.

Before an individual pleads guilty to a DUI, they will want to make sure that they know exactly what they are pleading guilty to. An individual's insurance cost will go up as a result of a DUI conviction, so they will want to try to avoid a conviction if possible. Whether the insurance carrier drops an individual as a client is a case-by-case analysis done by the insurance carrier. Therefore, it is a good idea for an individual's attorney talk to their client's insurance agent and try to have the agent encourage their carrier to keep them insured, especially if they do not plan to plead guilty to a DUID.

Contacting an Attorney

There are enhanced penalties for repeat offenders of a DUID in Connecticut. With a first DUID, you are eligible for suspension of prosecution and a diversionary program called the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a program in which you complete 10 or 15 classes of alcohol education, stay out of trouble for a year, and the case is dismissed and expunged.

An experienced attorney will help you gather all necessary evidence in your case, and build a strong defense in the hopes of lessening or eliminating any potential penalties may be facing. A lawyer will be able to help manage what happens to your car and license after a DUID arrest in Stamford, and assist in handling any outstanding legal processes.