If law enforcement arrested you on a DUI charge, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. A DUI arrest can throw your life into a tailspin, especially if this is the first time you have been arrested and this is your first contact with the criminal justice system.
The way a DUI charge proceeds through the justice system is specific and not always straightforward. Here is some information to help you better understand what happens after a DUI charge and how you can move forward while trying to minimize the consequences to your future.
Chemical testing and next steps
One of the first things to consider in terms of your DUI charge is whether you agreed to submit to a chemical test. This is because state law contains administrative sanctions for people who refuse to submit to a chemical test when police suspect the person of driving under the influence. In some cases, the police department will pursue a prosecution on both an administrative front, for not agreeing to a chemical test, as well as on a criminal front, for the act of driving under the influence. The administrative penalties vary. A judge will determine the penalties after a hearing. Another factor that a judge will take into consideration in terms of a conviction and sentencing is whether you are a first-time offender.
Serious penalties for DUI convictions
If you receive a DUI conviction in Rhode Island, you can face serious penalties. You may have your driver's license suspended, you could face hefty fines, your insurance company could sharply raise your premium, and you could even face jail time. With so much at stake, you must ensure that you protect your interests and seek out a strong and strategic defense.
Each DUI case is individual and has particular factors that make it unique. Seeking out an attorney who works with DUI cases in Rhode Island may be your best resource for learning about your options under the law as well as the risks you face. An attorney can advise you on your next steps and help you build a defense strategy.