Fairfield County DWI/DUI Attorneys
While the law is becoming increasingly harsh for individuals charged with operating under the influence, the fact is that many people from all walks of life have faced DWI/DUI charges. The important thing is that you get a diligent and aggressive Stamford DWI/DUI lawyer on your side.
The drunk driving defense lawyers at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, serve Connecticut and New York, offering aggressive and thorough DWI/DUI representation. With more than 35 combined years of experience, our attorneys do everything possible to get the best outcome in your alcohol-related offense. Contact us online or call our office at 203-327-1500 to schedule your free consultation.
Two Separate Legal Processes After a DWI/DUI Arrest
When you are charged with DWI/DUI, there are two separate legal processes. Both happen very quickly and can impact your life tremendously in the short term and in the future.
The Criminal Charges
Drunk driving is treated as a serious crime in both Connecticut and New York. We have more than 35 combined years of experience handling the more complicated aspects of DWI litigation:
- Constitutionality of drunk driving stops and searches
- Blood tests and Breathalyzers used to measure blood-alcohol content (BAC)
- Courtroom procedures used to measure blood-alcohol levels
- Issues related to prior convictions, both in and out of state
We are well-versed in the penalties for first, second, and subsequent drunk driving offenses, and we use this knowledge and experience to find solutions so that you get the best result possible in your case. When we take your case, we will do everything possible to protect your record and your right to drive.
The Administrative Hearings With the Department of Motor Vehicles
In addition to the charges you may face in the criminal courts, you will also face the possibility of the Department of Motor Vehicles suspending your driver's license. We have the experience and skill to represent you in the administrative hearings before the DMV so that you can retain your right to drive.
Important Facts about Connecticut's DUI/OUI Laws
Driving in Connecticut is considered a privilege, not a right. If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs you may face serious consequences. You may lose your driving privileges, have to participate in an Alcohol Education Program, and may face having a criminal record and/or incarceration. Here are some important facts regarding Connecticut's DUI/OUI laws:
1. Connecticut's Implied Consent Law states that any person who operates a motor vehicle is presumed to have given his or her consent to a test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, provide a urine sample or blood test, your license will be suspended, regardless of your case's outcome in court.
2. If your BAC is .08 or above, you are considered legally intoxicated. If you are under 21 years of age a BAC of .02 or above is over the legal limit. Even without any evidence of your BAC, you can be charged with a DUI, if there is evidence that your ability to drive has been compromised because you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
3. The State of Connecticut provides for the implementation of sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints allow police to briefly stop vehicles at specific, highly visible locations to determine if a driver is impaired. Police may stop all or a certain portion of drivers. If they have reason to believe you are under the influence, law enforcement may require you to submit to Field Sobriety Tests.
4. Boats and motorcycles are considered vehicles, too! You can be charged with a DUI for operating a boat, motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
5. The following will occur if you are arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence:
- You will be detained by police and read your rights.
- Your vehicle may be towed, at your expense.
- You will be taken to a police station by a law enforcement agent.
- The arresting officer, acting on behalf of the DMV Commissioner, will revoke your driver's license for a period of 24 hours and submit a report to the DMV.
- If you consent to a chemical alcohol test and that test registers a BAC of .08 or above (or .02 or above for a driver under 21 years of age), you will be charged with OUI.
- If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, and law enforcement has reason to believe, through their observations and/or the administration of Field Sobriety Tests, that you are under the influence, you will be charged with OUI.
- You will be detained and likely will be required to post a bond to secure your release.
6. There are two separate DUI proceedings:
- A Court proceeding where your attorney will help you resolve your charges; and
- A DMV Hearing ("Per Se" Hearing) where your attorney can challenge the administrative suspension of your license.
7. There are two (2) ways to lose your license:
1. Through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you are charged with OUI, law enforcement notifies DMV of your arrest. DMV will suspend your license should you fail your breath, blood or urine test or refuse to submit to the test. You will receive a Notice of Suspension from DMV prior to your license suspension and if you want to contest the suspension, you must request a hearing with DMV's Administrative Per Se Unit within seven days.
2. Through a conviction for OUI. If you are convicted of a DUI, notice of the conviction is sent to DMV, and the following penalties are imposed:
- First Conviction: 45 day license suspension. You must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for at least one year following restoration of your license. You must pay DMV a fee of $100 before installation, and are responsible for monthly payments for the device.
- Second Conviction: 45 day license suspension. You must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for three years following restoration of your license. During the first year of the three year period you may only drive to and from work, school, a substance abuse treatment program, IID service center, or appointment with a probation officer.
- Third Conviction: Permanent revocation of license and you must wait at least two years from the date of revocation to request a hearing for reconsideration.
8. If you are a first time offender, you may be eligible for the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a pretrial diversionary program, and if the Court grants entry into the Program and you successfully complete it, the charges will be dismissed. After you apply for the AEP, the Bail Commissioner's office performs a background check to determine whether you are eligible for participation. You will also be evaluated by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and DMHAS recommends a level of treatment should the Court grant the program. The recommendations are:
- A 10-week educational program($350.00 program fee);
- a 15-week educational program ($500.00 program fee); or
- an independent in- or outpatient treatment program approved by the Bail Commissioner (you must pay for any private treatment program unless the Court decides otherwise).
- You may also be required to take part in a Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel (VIP) and will be required to pay a fee to attend.
9. If you are convicted of a DUI/OUI in Connecticut and are placed on probation, you will have to pay a fine, participate in substance abuse treatment and perform community service.
10. Even if your case is dismissed, if your license is suspended through DMV, notice of the suspension will remain on your driving history for up to ten years. This information may be discovered during background checks, and may impact your ability to get a job or to maintain or obtain automobile insurance, and may result in an increase in your insurance premiums.
The good news: it is possible to be acquitted of DUI (and drugged driving)
If you've been charged with a DWI or any other crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Anyone in Fairfield (or anywhere) who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle is responsible to ensure that they are capable of operating it.
Wherever a defendant is in the process, whether it is at the initial arrest, an outstanding charge, or pending sentencing, you should face the authorities directly with the help of a proactive legal defense. A looming DUI or DWI charge can be intimidating, but running away can only make things worse before the court date.
Koffsky and Felsen helps those who face drunk driving charges - even if there are additional charges in play - and explores every angle to have charges and sentencing either reduced or dismissed outright. We specialize in drunk driving defense can help those tempted to run from their charges face a court appointment head-on, with confidence and experience on their side.
An experienced attorney can help you with your Court hearings and with your Administrative Per Se Hearing as well. Here at Koffsky and Felsen, LLC we understand how intimidating and concerning a DUI charge can be and with over 40 years of combined experience handling these types of cases, we are ready to help you get on the right track towards restoring your driving privileges.
Contact a Stamford, Connecticut, DWI/DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DWI offense, we can defend you from these charges, helping you get the best outcome possible. Either call our law firm office at 203-327-1500 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.