Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney in Warwick, Rhode Island
Warwick, Rhode Island’s second-largest city, is home to our satisfied clients from all over town including Buttonwoods, Conimicut, Gaspee, Lakewood, Oakland Beach, and Pawtuxet. Many of these clients learned some things through facing DUI charges what they did not realize before – that prosecutors are not invincible, and that it pays to fight back against a DUI charge. It is highly recommended to have a dedicated Warwick DUI lawyer on your side with a proven record of successes.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has exerted a tremendous influence over Rhode Island DUI laws over the decades, toughening what was once little more than a traffic ticket into what is now a serious criminal offense that can land you in jail for as long as a year – even for a first offense. Don’t treat this as a traffic ticket. You are going to need professional legal assistance.
A DUI conviction gives rise to a variety of harsh penalties. If you are convicted of a first offense DUI, you may face the following penalties depending on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level:
- Up to one year of incarceration
- A fine of up to $500 (plus other “costs” and “assessments”)
- Up to 60 hours community service
- A maximum 18-month driver’s license suspension
- DUI school and/or alcohol treatment program
- Mandatory ignition interlock on your vehicle
Rhode Island applies a 5-year “lookback” period. If you have been convicted of a previous DUI within the past 5 years, your current DUI will be treated as a second offense and you will be subject to substantially increased penalties. A previous DUI will probably be discovered even if it occurred in another state.
The “Implied Consent” Dilemma
Every driver in the state of Rhode Island is presumed to have given consent in advance for a chemical test. Implied consent allows police officers to administer a chemical test, so long as the officer has reason to believe you have been driving while intoxicated. If you refuse to be tested, you face many of the same penalties that result from a DUI conviction. Although the prosecutor’s DUI case against you will be weaker, a DUI conviction is also possible.
“Got everything done within a week’s period of time. She met with me the day I called her and met me halfway so I didn’t have to drive as far. I would recommend her to anyone looking to win a case!” – Abilheira Law client
We also handle the following DUI-related matters:
- Disorderly Conduct Charges
- Resisting Arrest Charges
- Traffic Offenses
- DUI Expungements
- Other Criminal Charges
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Rhode Island offer a hardship license that will allow me to drive to and from work even if my driver’s license is suspended?
Yes, Rhode Island offers a hardship license. These licenses are discretionary. In other words, the judge is entitled to refuse your application. If your application is approved (after some inevitable delay), you must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car at your own expense.
Do I have a valid defense if the officer had no right to pull me over?
Theoretically, you do have a defense in this case. If the defense is successful, the prosecution cannot use any evidence against you that the police officer obtained as a consequence of pulling you over. For example, you might have a valid defense if:
- you were a victim of racial profiling.
- you were pulled over simply because you were driving a new car in a “bad neighborhood.”
What are some defenses against a DUI charge?
There are dozens of possible defenses, including:
- The officer had no right to pull you over in the first place (see above for details).
- You were more intoxicated at the time you took the breathalyzer than you were at the time you were pulled over (the “rising BAC defense”).
- The officer misused the breathalyzer machine, resulting in a false reading (he administered it two minutes after your last drink, for example).
- You have a condition, such as diabetes, that falsely inflated your BAC.
The DUI Minefield
Rhode Island prosecutors press hard for DUI convictions, and they usually get them if the defendant represents himself or retains a mediocre lawyer. Without adequate representation of a strong Warwick DUI attorney, you are likely to miss possible objections to the prosecutor’s questioning and overlook possible defenses that you might have raised if you had thoroughly mastered the legal nuances involved.
We’re Ready to Lace Up Our Gloves for You
Here at Abilheira Law, we fight hard for our clients and our successful track record proves it. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Warwick or elsewhere in Rhode Island, call us at (401) 685-9335 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation with our experienced Warwick DUI lawyer.