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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16097
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I just got pulled over for a DWI and had a BAC of .14 and also "failure to maintain l

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I just got pulled over for a DWI and had a BAC of .14 and also "failure to maintain lane". I didn't pay a bail to get out as my driving record is clean. I was put in a cell for about 7 hrs until my wife came to get me out. My car was towed and I was given a court date of September 13th. What penalties do I face?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

Connecticut's laws are pretty tough. On a first DUI conviction, which is a misdmeeanor, there's a 48-hour mandatory minimum jail sentence, which you can get suspended if you are willing to perform 100 hours of community service. The maximum possible jail sentence, however, is 6 months.

Your car has already been impounded, and they will hold it for 48-hours at your cost. Your license can be suspended for a year.

There is also a ten year lookback period in Connecticut. That is, if you are again arrested for a DUI and it is within ten years of your present conviction, the penalties will be enhanced and you can, for example, serve up to two years in prison.

This makes is a good idea to get a lawyer and have him with you on your court date. You may want to fight the charges if the facts of your case are favorable ones or negotiate an alternative disposition, or he may be able at the very least to keep the fines to a minimum.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for such a quick reply. I was able to get my car back right after I was released, which was about 8 hrs after I got arrested. There was no bail to pay, which I was relieved about.


As far as the my record, I have never been charged with a misdemeanor before (sorry if I spelled that incorrectly), nor do I have any severe charges on my driving record. So in saying that, will that 48 hr mandatory jail sentence truly be in effect or will they most likely give me 100 hours of community service?


How much do you believe the fines will be? I'm also a military member, which is why I believe that I was able to pay no charge for my bail on top of a clean driving record. How much would a lawyer be to represent me ( a general figure is fine)?


I currently have my car, my license is not suspended yet, and I was doing some research which stated that my license could be suspended for 90 days for a first time offense, what are the chances of this happening?


Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

It is customary for a first arrest on a non-violent misdmeanor not to have to sit in jail to wait for his first court date unless something about him indicates that he's a flight risk. You clearly are not.

You have not been found guilty of this offense yet, so all of the penalties except the impoundment are yet to come. The choice between jail and community service would be yours.

I can't predict the fine nor can I predict what a lawyer can do for you. So much depends upon the facts and circumstances of a particular offense, the legality of the initial stop, the accuracy and of the breathalyzer, and so on. I can say, however, that given the high BAC count, the state will probably not start out overly generous. A year is the maximum period of suspension.

90 days is the the usual for a first conviction on this, but again it will depend upon the facts and circumstances. If this is pretty garden variety, 90 days is likely. If there was an accident involving injury or property damage, the penalties can go up.

Lawyers charge clients based on the amount of time they think they will have to spend on a case. And the average lawyer bills out his time at $200-$300/hour or more. If your case is to be a negotiated disposition, It will be substantially cheaper than if you have to appear repeatedly to fight the charges. A trial case even on a misdmeanor level can cost a couple thousand dollars.

YOu can get a more accurate ballpark figure by contacting the Connecticut Bar Association's Legal Referral Service. If you were interested in having them find a lawyer also, they charge around $50 for the referral which includes a half-hour consultation with the lawyer.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you very much for your expertise. There was no accident, and I was very cooperative the entire time, I was very coherent, and was able to answer all the questions that was asked. It looks like this may be a negotiable case and nothing more, so I will contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible and see if he can represent my case for sure. Thank you again for all of your help, I feel a bit better about the situation especially the choice of 100 community service hours over the 48 hours imprisonment.


Out of curiosity, will this be reflected on my military record? Will the state of Connecticut update any of this over to my military career?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

While I doubt that the state will notify the military directly about this offense, a criminal conviction would appear on both your driving abstract and your state and Federal RAP sheet. So the military would be able to find it if there were any reason to look for it.
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16097
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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