Woonsocket DUI Lawyer

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Woonsocket DUI Attorney

Facing a DUI charge can be disheartening due to the complex and serious nature of the state’s DUI laws. Hiring a knowledgeable Woonsocket DUI lawyer, such as the attorneys at Ellison Law LLC, is crucial. We have a history of success in criminal defense cases, and we’ve helped many clients navigate these charges.

Woonsocket DUI Lawyer

Understanding DUI Charges

In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a person can be charged and convicted of a DUI if they have been driving while impaired by alcohol or another controlled substance, such as narcotics. Alcohol levels can be determined through breath tests. If a person’s blood alcohol content level is at 0.08% or above, it can lead to a DUI charge.

Officers follow guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to identify impaired drivers, often starting with a traffic violation and leading to field sobriety tests.

DUI charges can be accompanied by a separate charge for refusing a chemical test. Rhode Island operates under implied consent. This means that any person who drives inherently consents to chemical testing if suspected of driving while under the influence. If the driver refuses, they can face penalties. Both charges carry severe consequences and technical defenses. Intoxicated driving, whether due to alcohol or drugs, is treated as a serious offense.

Your Rights During a DUI Traffic Stop

During a DUI traffic stop, you have certain constitutional rights. These include:

  • The right to remain silent, except for providing license, registration, and insurance
  • The right to request a lawyer if arrested
  • The right to make a local phone call if detained

Field Sobriety Tests

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests help officers determine a person’s level of impairment. Non-standardized tests, like the finger-to-nose or alphabet tests, may also be used. You can refuse these tests, but refusal may still lead to a request for a breathalyzer test, with potential penalties like license suspension.

When a person is arrested and charged, one of the common defenses against a DUI is challenging the field sobriety test. These defenses include:

  • Examining test administration
  • Assessing road, traffic, and weather conditions
  • Considering the impact of outside contributors, such as health conditions
  • Questioning the officer’s assessment
  • Addressing potential violations of constitutional rights

DUI Arrest Process and Penalties

After a DUI arrest, court appearances for the DUI charge are common. A DUI trial is similar to other criminal trials, where the prosecution must prove that you were driving on a public road, under the influence, and impaired. The defense strategy varies based on case circumstances. If convicted, penalties can include fines, license suspension, imprisonment, and mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs. A person may also be given the following penalties:

  • A hardship license that allows limited driving hours for work, school, or medical appointments, often requiring an ignition interlock device.
  • An ignition interlock device is a device preventing a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath, requiring periodic tests while driving.
  • Alcohol education or treatment is mandatory for DUI or refusal charges and is monitored by the Rhode Island DMV.
  • Community service is a penalty that some offenders are ordered to complete. Community service for DUI convictions must be completed at a 501(c) nonprofit organization.

Penalties for DUI Charges

Penalties for DUIs are often based on which offense it is for the defendant:

  • First Offense. Penalties vary based on BAC levels, ranging from fines and license suspension to jail time and community service.
  • Second Offense. This involves mandatory jail time, license suspension, and alcohol treatment.
  • Third Offense. This is considered a felony with severe penalties, including significant jail time, extended license suspension, and mandatory treatment.

Expunging a DUI

Eligibility for expungement depends on whether the DUI was a misdemeanor and the time elapsed since sentence completion. Dismissed charges may be sealed immediately.

License Reinstatement

If a person wants to get their license reinstated, they must meet certain requirements. Meeting DMV and court requirements, including fine payments and the completion of court-ordered programs, is necessary for license reinstatement.

DUI Lawyer FAQs

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

A: The cost of a DUI in Rhode Island depends on a number of factors. These include circumstances of the case, legal fees, and fines. If the case goes to court, a defendant may also have to pay attorney fees. There are also fees associated with penalties, such as the cost of an interlock ignition device, the cost of alcohol education programs, the increase in insurance, and the cost of reinstating your license.

Q: What Is the Penalty for a First-Offense DUI in Rhode Island?

A: Penalties for a first-offense DUI in Rhode Island include jail time, fines, license suspension, community service, alcohol education programs, and a criminal record. A first-offense DUI can have non-legal consequences, such as an increase in insurance costs and denial of employment opportunities, especially if the job has driving requirements.

Q: What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Rhode Island?

A: In Rhode Island, many people use the phrases DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) to mean the same thing. Both refer to the act of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other substances. Rhode Island law primarily uses the term DUI to describe impaired driving offenses. A person can be charged with a DUI if they have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher.

Q: What Is the Drunk Driving Law in Rhode Island?

A: In Rhode Island, a person can be charged with a DUI if they have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher. If they are driving a commercial vehicle, that limit is 0.04% or higher. If the driver is under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02%. Rhode Island also operates under implied consent. This means that if a person is suspected of driving while under the influence, they inherently consent to a chemical test. If not, they may face penalties.

Contact Ellison Law LLC Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, we can help. Our lawyers can inform you of your rights and advocate for the greatest possible outcome for your case. Contact Ellison Law LLC today for more information.


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