Westerly DUI Lawyer

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Westerly DUI Attorney

Receiving DUI charges after a sudden traffic stop can feel random and unfair. It can lead to a chain of events involving court dates, paperwork, and even jail time. This process can be challenging for anyone, especially those who have never gotten a DUI before. For knowledgeable help working through your situation, consider consulting with a Westerly DUI lawyer.

Best Westerly DUI Lawyer

Someone in Your Corner

People are at the heart of what we do. At Ellison Law LLC, we have worked with clients facing a variety of charges. We know how devastating and taxing criminal charges can be for those accused, and we aim to support our clients throughout the entire process. Our experienced staff can inform you of what next steps you can take to improve your circumstances and the potential repercussions of each choice.

DUIs in Rhode Island

A DUI in Rhode Island stands for Driving Under the Influence. While this most commonly means under the influence of alcohol, it can also mean other controlled substances. A driver’s intoxication level is usually determined through evaluating their blood alcohol content, or BAC. Rhode Island law specifies that drivers can’t operate a vehicle with a BAC level above the legal limit.

If a law enforcement officer sees a driver acting erratically on the road, they might pull them over for a traffic stop. After a conversation with the driver, the officer might perform a Field Sobriety Test to evaluate whether the driver is driving under the influence. Depending on the circumstances, they might request that you take a test at the police station as well.

Depending on the results of the test, they might charge you with a DUI. If this happens, you usually receive a date for appearing in court, called an arraignment. After this process, you can work with your attorney to gather evidence surrounding your case. Sometimes, an attorney might be able to work out a plea deal with the prosecution. If this is not possible, then it is likely that you will need to go to court.

Penalties for a DUI

The exact penalties for a DUI depend on the amount of previous DUI convictions you have within a time period and other aggravating factors, but most DUI convictions come with some amount of the following:

  • Potential time spent in prison or jail
  • Having your license suspended
  • Requiring an ignition interlock device to be placed on your vehicle
  • Paying money in court costs and fines
  • Completing community service
  • Taking a DUI rehabilitation, counseling, or education program
  • Having a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your criminal record

These criminal consequences can add significant challenges to your life for a considerable amount of time, but an attorney might be able to lessen the burden of your DUI charges or conviction.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

DUI charges in Westerly, RI can seem impossible to challenge for someone inexperienced in law. In reality, every situation is different. An attorney can evaluate the context around your DUI charges to determine if they were fairly assigned. They can review common pitfalls and issues associated with DUI charges, including:

  • Illegal Stops: Law enforcement has detailed rules about when and why they can initiate a traffic stop. If a traffic stop is deemed invalid, your charges might not hold up in court.
  • Exiting a Vehicle: If a police officer suspects that you are under the influence, they might issue you an exit order. This requires you to leave your vehicle to perform certain tests to evaluate your sobriety. These orders are typically valid, but they must be given in a way that respects your rights. Issues with exit orders might affect your charges.
  • Field Sobriety Tests: Chemical tests cannot often be administered on the go, so police officers often rely on other ways to evaluate a driver’s sobriety. If an officer did not explain instructions clearly or you were impacted by other things, like the weather or the clothes you were wearing, the sobriety test results might be invalid.
  • Explanation of Rights: If you are arrested for DUI charges, an officer must tell you about certain rights you have while under arrest. Their lack of explanation does not negate your charges, but it might negate anything you say while in their custody. It is generally a good idea to speak with a lawyer before talking with police about your charges or answering any questions after an arrest.
  • Issues With BAC Tests: Blood alcohol tests can be an important part of a DUI case, but they are not foolproof. Machines are often finicky and require a great deal of care to receive correct results. If it is found that an officer did not do the test correctly or there were other issues with the test or the machinery, the results might not be usable.

Not every defense works with every DUI situation. This is why it is so important to work with a DUI attorney. They can listen to your side of the story and create a unique plan for your defense. If your case against the charges is strong enough, they might even be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution for reduced charges.

How Will I Get to Work Without a License?

One of the most common punishments for a DUI offense is a suspension of your driver’s license. The length of this suspension can vary significantly. This can obviously cause an issue for individuals who need to drive to get to work. In some cases, an individual can request a hardship license so that they can still earn a living after being convicted of a DUI.

If the court grants permission for a hardship license, they will require that the individual has an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. This device takes a sample of your breath to check the alcohol content before allowing the car to start. If the amount is over the legal limit, the device will prevent the engine from starting.

This additional device also comes with a price tag. There is an initial fee to install the device onto your vehicle on top of a monthly fee to keep the device running. These costs do not include other fines that might have been incurred as a result of a DUI. The device also records information about when and where you start your car, information on whether you passed or failed each attempt, and any efforts made to meddle with or destroy the device.

Not everyone who receives DUI charges qualifies for a hardship license. There are specific requirements and procedures one must go through to request one. A DUI attorney can advise you on whether or not a hardship license can be granted for your charges and how you might obtain one.

DUI Defense FAQs

Q: What Usually Happens on a First Offense DUI in Rhode Island?

A: First-time offenses for a DUI in Rhode Island are typically charged as a misdemeanor. The penalties associated with a first-time DUI are usually:

  • Jail time that can vary in length
  • A fine
  • A license suspension
  • A class for those convicted of DUIs or a treatment program approved by the government

Multiple offenses or convictions with higher BAC levels typically result in similar punishments but with larger fines, more jail time, and a longer license suspension duration.

Q: What Is the Penalty for a Subsequent DUI in Rhode Island?

A: A second DUI in Rhode Island is normally considered a misdemeanor. Penalties for a second conviction are usually more intense than for the first conviction, resulting in things like:

  • A longer jail sentence
  • Afine
  • A longer license suspension
  • A rehabilitation or treatment class/program that is government-approved

Any additional DUIs committed within a five-year period after the second are considered felony offenses.

Q: How Much Does a DUI Cost in Rhode Island?

A: A DUI in Rhode Island comes with many different fees that add up quickly. If you get pulled over for a DUI and your car is impounded, you must pay to retrieve it from a towing company. There are also fees to get your license reinstated after a DUI-related suspension. Depending on how many prior offenses you have, fines can differ significantly. Costs associated with a DUI can pile up, but an attorney might be able to help lower them.

Q: How Do I Get Out of a DUI in Rhode Island?

A: To get out of a DUI in Rhode Island, consider working with a DUI attorney. A legal professional who is experienced in DUI law can potentially reduce the penalties you are facing or might even be able to get your charges dismissed. If you do need to go to court to contest your charges, an attorney can help the judge and jury to understand your perspective. They can evaluate the context of your case and develop a targeted strategy for positive results.

Targeted Strategies for Your Case

DUI charges can be challenging to work through alone. The attorneys at Ellison Law LLC aim to make the process as straightforward as possible through open and honest communication. We have successfully helped many individuals improve their situation through reduced or dismissed charges. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how Ellison Law LLC can help with your DUI charges.


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