DUI Lawyer in Hartford
Are you looking for a skilled, experienced and competent DUI lawyer in Hartford? The Law Office of Steven R. Slattery, is the name to trust. We handle these types of cases all the time, and we can help you develop a strong and effective defense.
Facing a DUI in Connecticut?
When charged with DUI there are two aspects of the charge that must be taken into consideration: First, the criminal charge of DUI and the potential consequences that may result? Second, the Department of Motor Vehicle aspect and the consequences the arrest will have on your driver’s license?
The Criminal Charge
Just as with any other criminal charge the State must prove you guilty of Driving/Operating Under the Influence beyond a reasonable doubt. The State must prove every element of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The potential consequences of for DUI in the criminal court include the possibility of jail, probation or some combination of both. In addition, a conviction for DUI will suspend your license for a period of time. Just like with other criminal offenses the police must operate within the requirements of the Constitution while investigating DUIs. Before a police officer is able to stop you while driving he must have a reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity. Go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/title14.htm to take a look at the Connecticut Statutes governing highway/road use in the State. It will not only provide you with the information needed to drive safer but also to avoid being pulled over by the police. The problem for drivers is that if a police officer follows even the safest driver for long enough that officer is likely to observe some violation of Connecticut Statutes governing highway/road use. However, if in the process of stopping you the police go beyond the limits set by the Constitution then any evidence collected from that stop should not be used against you in a court of law. Hire me and my trained eye will review the police report to make sure that the police operated within the set of rules demanded by the Constitution. Once I determine they did not observe your Constitutional rights I will fight not only to have any evidence recovered as a result thrown out of court but also to have the charges against you dropped.
Please see also the “Your Constitutional Rights” tab on this website for more information regarding search and seizure.
Department of Motor Vehicle
Separate from the criminal aspect of a DUI arrest/charge discussed above there are other “Administrative” concerns, mainly the suspension of your license, of which you should be aware. An administrative suspension is imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicle directly. It is completely separate from the charges pending in criminal court and is the result of simply being arrested for a DUI, not convicted. As a result of your being arrested for DUI the DMV will administratively suspend your license. The length of an administrative suspension for a first time DUI is generally determined by a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) upon arrest as determined by a breathalyzer:
If a person blows on the breathalyzer and the test indicates a BAC of .08 and .15 that persons license will be suspended for 90 days.
If a person blows on the breathalyzer and the test indicates a BAC of .16 or greater that persons license will be suspended for 120 days.
If a person suspected of DUI refuses to take the breathalyzer test that persons license will be suspended for 6 months.
The above administrative suspensions are all for first timers, meaning that the person involved has not been the subject of a previous administrative suspension for DUI. If the person has had a previous administrative suspension the term of the administrative suspension will increase from 90 days to 9 months, from 120 days to 10 months and from 6 months to one year, respectively. If the accused has had two or more previous administrative suspensions associated with a DUI the term of the administrative suspension is increased from 9 months to 2 years, from 10 months to 2.5 years and from 1 year to 3 years, respectively. Different rules apply if the person who is the subject of the DUI is under 21.
It is important to remember that these administrative suspensions are generally the result of simply being arrested for DUI. An additional suspension of between 1 year and permanent revocation will also be imposed as the result of a conviction for DUI. A first time conviction will carry with it a license suspension of 1 year. Again, this is in addition to any administrative suspension already imposed while the case was pending. For second and subsequent offenses that term of the suspension will go up with the third conviction resulting in a permanent revocation of driving privileges.
It should also be noted that before an administrative suspension is put into effect, the licensee will receive a notice from DMV letting them know the effective date there license will be suspended. The notice will also provide information on how to schedule an administrative hearing at DMV to challenge the validity of the suspension. If the licensee wins at the administrative hearing that person’s license will not be administratively suspended. If the licensee does not schedule a hearing, or schedules a hearing and does not show up, the administrative suspension will be imposed as indicated in the notice.
Criminal law has been my passion throughout my life. That passion has guided my educational decisions and career path culminating in my starting the Law Office of Steven R. Slattery with a focus on criminal defense. My job is to help those accused of committing crimes in dealing with the criminal justice system and to make sure that the constitutional rights of anyone accused are protected. From arraignment to dismissal, plea or verdict after trial, I work hard for my clients not only in seeking favorable dispositions, but also in communication with them throughout the process. I do not leave my clients in the dark and I do not “BS.” My job is to help people through the often uncomfortable experiences most associate with the criminal justice system. I love my job and I am good at it. Let me help you or your loved one.
The information provided here is general information. Please call to schedule an appointment or speak to me directly regarding the specifics of your case.