How a Drunk Driving Conviction Affects your Record
Driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences. A DUI charge can affect your record two ways –an administrative license suspension and a criminal charge. The administrative side is governed by civil law and includes the regulation of your driving license and record. On the other hand, criminal law oversees fines, penalties, sentencing, and parole.
If a person refuses to submit to field sobriety tests, his or her license can be suspended immediately. Even if a person fully participates, some states will suspend their license on the spot. Most states, however, require an administrative hearing within ten days of the arrest. The hearing does not address the criminal aspects of the charge but instead investigates circumstances such as the arrest being made on reasonable grounds, refusal of any field sobriety questions, procedural regulations involving the tests, and future license status.
On the criminal side of the charge, a court date must be set for trial and sentencing. If a lawyer represents the accused, challenges may be presented to the charge, including expert defense testimony, breathalyzer calibration questions, and documentary evidence relevant to the charges. In court, sentencing issues include conviction classification, fines, ignition interlock use, parole, and length of license suspension. Penalties for repeat offenders are always worse than for first-timers.
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer will fight for your rights. Contact Matthew Marin, a Rhode Island DUI attorney, today at 401-287-4384 to learn more.