A DUI charge can happen to almost anyone in Rhode Island. You may be driving home from a party or other social gathering where you had a few drinks and be pulled over. Suddenly you could find yourself charged with a DUI and wondering what comes next.
Being convicted of a DUI comes with serious consequences. The penalties for even a first-offense DUI in Rhode Island can include a fine of up to $300, a driver’s license suspension for 6 months and a maximum jail sentence of 1 year.
The penalties only increase from there with subsequent DUI convictions. Harsher penalties may also be imposed if you refuse to submit to a blood-alcohol test.
There are many potential defenses that you can explore. Experienced criminal defense attorneys examine the details of each DUI case and determine which defense strategies are available.
The DUI stop and test results
For example, your DUI stop may have been illegal. Police officers must have a valid reason to stop you and they must follow all required procedures. If evidence shows the correct procedure was not followed, the entire case could be dismissed.
The results of any DUI test you took should be carefully examined, as well. The prosecution must prove that any tests were administered properly, the test equipment was correctly calibrated and that the results were not changed or tampered with.
DUI checkpoint stops
You may have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint. A DUI checkpoint must meet specific requirements and has certain rules that must be followed. Investigate the checkpoint to make sure it met all necessary conditions.
Finally, check your police report. If it contains any inaccurate information, this could potentially be used as part of a defense.
Stay calm and assess the situation
The most important thing to do after a DUI charge is not panic. Although a DUI charge should be taken seriously, keeping these defense strategies in mind could help you obtain a reduced penalty or dismissed charge.