DUI Charges in Rhode Island
Facing your first DUI offense can be a scary experience. Many drivers who have never been in trouble with the law before can suddenly find themselves in a shaky situation with a police officer. While a first offense DUI arrest can be overwhelming, the steps you take after your first DUI offense can determine how severe your consequences will be. After a first DUI, it’s important to speak with a Rhode Island DUI lawyer to help you move forward. Contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins today to discuss your first offense DUI case and learn more about your options.
Everything You Need to Know About a First Offense DUI in Rhode Island
If you’re facing a first offense DUI, you likely have many questions and concerns about what will happen next. Below are some frequently asked questions that first-time DUI clients often have after an arrest. For more guidance on managing a first offense DUI in Rhode Island, call DUI defense attorney Susan T. Perkins as soon as possible at 401-324-2990.
What happens for your 1st DUI offense in Rhode Island?
Most clients who face a first offense DUI want to know what will happen immediately after the arrest. It’s important to note that the following steps will heavily depend on the circumstances of your situation, but most DUI cases take a general direction.
Your first offense DUI case will begin with an arraignment hearing at a Rhode Island District Court. An arraignment hearing is where you enter a plea, and a judge officially charges you with your first offense DUI. Speaking with an experienced DUI attorney before attending an arraignment hearing and entering a plea is highly recommended. At this hearing, a judge decides on the conditions of your release.
In most misdemeanor first-time DUI cases, a defendant will be released under an agreement that they will return for the next hearing. Throughout the pre-trial conference phase, your DUI lawyer will help you determine if going to trial or accepting a plea will be your best path.
What are the penalties for a first offense DUI in Rhode Island?
Since Rhode Island takes drinking and driving and road safety seriously, DUI penalties can be severe. First offense DUI penalties can include:
- 30 to 180 days license suspension
- $100 – $300 fine
- $86 fee
- Up to 1 year in jail
- 10 to 60 hours of community service
- Alcohol and/or drug treatment classes at the discretion of the court
Penalties become more critical depending on your circumstances and how high your BAC (blood alcohol content) was at the time of your arrest. For instance, a BAC of .10% or more can lead to a longer license suspension and more expensive fines. To understand the possible penalties and consequences of your first-time DUI charge, contact DUI attorney Susan T. Perkins today.
What are your chances of beating a first offense DUI case?
The chances of beating a first offense DUI charge in Rhode Island depend on two critical factors: (1) the circumstances surrounding the case and (2) how quickly you contact a DUI defense lawyer.
No two DUI cases are the same. One may be more challenging, while another has a clear line of defense. Either way, it’s important to contact a Rhode Island DUI defense attorney immediately after a first offense DUI. The sooner you call, the better your chances are at beating a first-time DUI. Contact DUI lawyer Susan T. Perkins today to learn more.
Should I plead guilty to a first offense DUI?
It’s highly advised to speak with a Rhode Island DUI lawyer first before entering a guilty plea. As mentioned above, no two DUI arrests are the same. Sometimes police officers make mistakes, breath tests are faulty, or rights can be violated. A DUI defense attorney will listen to the circumstances surrounding your case and advise you on what to do at your arraignment hearing. Remember that an arraignment hearing happens quickly after an arrest, so the sooner you call, the better. Contact DUI defense attorney Susan T. Perkins today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your first offense DUI case.
Can I have a first DUI offense expunged in Rhode Island?
Yes, it is possible to have a first offense DUI expunged in Rhode Island. However, there is a waiting period of 5 years before you can file a motion to expunge a first-time DUI that was charged as a misdemeanor. If a DUI was charged as a felony, the waiting period is 10 years before you can file for expungement. Keep in mind that applying to have a criminal record expunged can be a complicated process. To ensure that you’re following the right protocols and meeting all of the requirements, work closely with an experienced DUI defense attorney that specializes in expungement. Contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins to learn more.
When does a DUI become a felony?
In most cases, a DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense in Rhode Island, especially for first-time DUI charges. However, a DUI can be heightened to a felony offense in certain situations. For instance, if there were serious injuries or a death as a result of an accident where drinking was involved, a driver may be charged with a felony DUI offense.
Should I get a DUI lawyer for a first offense?
Yes. A Rhode Island DUI defense attorney can provide guidance and legal support throughout the entire DUI process. A DUI lawyer can identify and build a viable defense plan, negotiate on your behalf, minimize your penalties, or even have your DUI charges dropped in some instances. To discuss your DUI case and speak to an experienced and skilled DUI attorney, contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins today.