DUI Felony in Rhode Island

Family, Divorce, Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins of Providence, Rhode Island

Schedule a Consultation

DUI Felony Charges in Rhode Island

While most DUI arrests are categorized as a misdemeanor, getting a DUI felony charge happens more often than you may think. A DUI felony in Rhode Island is considered a serious charge with heavy consequences. Having an experienced DUI felony defense lawyer by your side can be a significant advantage in these cases. If you’re facing a DUI felony charge and you feel as though you’re out of options, contact Susan T. Perkins as soon as possible to discuss your DUI felony offense. 

Susan T. Perkins is a skillful and accomplished DUI felony defense attorney that can evaluate your case and help you understand how to move forward. Susan T. Perkins has over 18 years of experience representing clients with DUI charges ranging from DUI first offenses to DUI felony charges. 

Everything You Need to Know About DUI Felony Charges in Rhode Island 

A DUI arrest can be a stressful experience, but a DUI felony arrest can be overwhelming. A DUI felony is serious for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the severe penalties one faces when charged with a DUI on this level. Understanding what a DUI felony in Rhode Island means, how it can impact your life, and the legal paths you can take can be helpful. Keep reading to learn more about a DUI felony in Rhode Island and how a DUI defense attorney can assist you.

What’s Rhode Island’s DUI law?

In the state of Rhode Island, a driver can be charged with a DUI offense for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For a driver operating a commercial vehicle, their BAC only has to be 0.04% or more to be charged with a DUI. For any driver under the age of 21, BAC only has to be 0.02% or higher to result in a DUI arrest. 

It’s also possible to face a DUI arrest if you’re under the influence of substances besides alcohol, such as scheduled controlled substances (e.g., marijuana or cocaine). Most first and second-offense DUI cases with BAC levels between 0.08% – 0.15% will result in a misdemeanor offense. 

See below to understand how a DUI arrest can be classified as a felony. To learn more about Rhode Island DUI law, contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins today. 

When does a DUI become a felony in Rhode Island?

Specific circumstances will typically need to happen for a DUI to become a felony charge in Rhode Island. For example, a DUI becomes a felony if: 

  • It’s a third DUI offense, and the driver’s blood-alcohol level was at 0.08% or more. 
  • DUI resulting in a death
  • DUI resulting in serious bodily injury 

To summarize, a third DUI offense, DUI Death Resulting, and DUI Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury will lead to a DUI felony charge in Rhode Island. If you’re facing any of the DUI felony charges listed above, contact DUI felony defense attorney Susan T. Perkins as soon as possible. 

What is Rhode Island’s DUI look-back period? 

A look-back period is the amount of time that exists between subsequent DUI offenses that directly affects how a DUI is classified. Rhode Island’s DUI look-back period is five years compared to Massachusetts, which has a lifetime look-back period. This means that if you’re arrested for your third DUI within five years of your first and second DUI charges, it will be classified as a DUI felony in Rhode Island. It’s highly advised to contact a DUI felony defense lawyer immediately after a third DUI offense. 

What happens if I get arrested for a felony DUI in Rhode Island?

If you’re arrested for a felony DUI in Rhode Island, you’ll face severe penalties and punishments (see more on penalties below). The most important thing you can do after a DUI felony arrest is contact an experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. You’ll want your attorney by your side at your arraignment hearing, which is when you’re formally charged and a judge sets the terms of your bail. 

What are the penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Rhode Island?

A felony DUI penalty is going to be harsher than a misdemeanor DUI penalty in Rhode Island. A felony DUI conviction can lead to: 

  • Mandatory jail time (minimum of one year) 
  • Expensive fines
  • Required participation in a treatment program
  • License suspension for 2-3 years
  • Community Service 

Each felony DUI conviction holds penalties determined by a judge in court. The judge will consider the details surrounding your case when establishing a sentence. For instance, a judge will consider a blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest or if there were young children in the car while a driver was under the influence. Only an experienced DUI felony defense attorney can help to minimize a DUI felony sentence. Contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins today to understand more about potential DUI felony penalties. 

Is it possible to beat a felony DUI charge? 

It is possible to beat a felony DUI charge, especially if you’re working with a skilled DUI attorney that has experience with DUI defense elements. There are a lot of things that can go wrong at a DUI stop with a police officer. The officer may not have had justification to pull you over. There may have been mistakes made during a field sobriety test, or maybe a breathalyzer device was malfunctioning. To learn about aggressive defense strategies for a DUI felony charge, contact DUI defense attorney Susan T. Perkins today. 

Why should I hire a Rhode Island felony DUI lawyer?

There are endless advantages to hiring a Rhode Island DUI lawyer for a felony DUI charge. First, DUI laws can be more complicated than you think, and most drivers are unaware of the fine details. A DUI lawyer can help you understand the extent of your charges and how to build a powerful defense. A DUI lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to have your penalties minimized. Lastly, a DUI lawyer can be your point of contact and resource during this difficult legal challenge. Having the support of a seasoned DUI attorney can make you feel more optimistic about your DUI felony results. 

Susan T. Perkins can give you the legal support and assistance you need throughout a DUI felony case. Remember, the sooner you contact a Rhode Island DUI felony lawyer, the sooner you can get answers and work towards a successful outcome.