Getting charged with a DUI can be a stressful situation for anyone, especially if you’re unsure about the penalties in your state. Some states, like New Jersey, consider most DUI charges to be serious traffic violations instead of criminal offenses. Compared to other states, Connecticut has pretty strict consequences in place if you’re caught driving under the influence. If you’re a Connecticut resident, you may wonder if a DUI could be considered a felony in your state. Read on or reach out to one of our Hartford County DUI Attorneys today for more information about DUI charges in Connecticut.
WHEN CAN A DUI BE CONSIDERED A FELONY?
Most first-offense DUI charges are considered misdemeanors in Connecticut, but there are certain scenarios where a first DUI can be classified as a felony. Even if it’s your first offense, if you cause an accident when drunk driving and injure another person, there is a likely chance the DUI will be escalated to a felony charge. Second-time offenses and any offenses after that are often felonies too. If you’re caught drunk driving within 10 years of a first DUI offense, many times the second offense automatically becomes a felony. Third-time and subsequent offenses are considered repeat offenses. More often than not, repeat offenders will be found guilty of a felony.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A DUI IN CONNECTICUT?
Like other criminal offenses, DUI convictions come with various penalties depending on the circumstances of the incident and the offender’s criminal history. If you commit multiple DUI offenses or injure another person while drunk driving, you may face the harshest consequences possible which could permanently impact your life. After getting charged with a DUI, you should immediately get in contact with a trusted DUI attorney who can help you limit the repercussions you face.
Most of the time, first-time DUI penalties are far less severe than the penalties for any subsequent charges. If you’re arrested for a DUI for the first time and you didn’t injure anyone, then you can expect a 45-day license suspension, required use of an interlock ignition device (IID) for a year, probation, community service, a fine up to $1,000, participation in an alcohol education program, and/or possible jail time. A second DUI conviction within 10 years is a felony, and you’ll likely face 3 years with an IID, restricted driving privileges, up to $4,000 in fines, along with the license suspension, probation, and possible jail time. On top of the other penalties, repeat offenders could face up to two years in prison and up to 100 hours of required community service.
If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI in Connecticut, you might wonder about your legal options. No need to panic because the Law Office of Marc. N. Needelman is here to fight for you! Give us a call today for advice from one of our highly experienced defense attorneys.