It can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute, you’re back at the party where you’re sure you didn’t drink all that much, or maybe back out with friends, certain some coffee did the trick after a few drinks. The next, you’re pulled over with the glare of a police officer’s flashlight in your eyes, and you’re suddenly in a world of trouble.
DUIs are stressful for anyone, but can be especially stressful if you’re dealing with your first DUI charge. You may never have thought of yourself as the kind of person who would get a DUI. However, the fact is, they can happen to just about anyone. DUIs—especially first-time DUIs—are usually the result of a momentary miscalculation or lapse in judgement. They aren’t usually purposeful, premeditated, or intentionally harmful. Still, regardless of how it happened, if you were caught driving with alcohol or drugs in your system, you will probably be charged with a DUI. And once you are charged with a DUI, you have a serious issue to deal with.
Though first-time DUIs may not be considered as damning as repeat offenses, they can still be very serious. This is especially true in Connecticut, which takes drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs very seriously.
According to Connecticut State Law, even a first-time DUI can carry potentially life-altering penalties. These include:
- The suspension of your license.
- The installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year.
- A $500-$1000 fine
- Up to 6 months of probation with 100 hours of community service, or up to
6 months in jail
In addition to sentences that you may receive from a judge or jury, there are also other potential consequences of a DUI that can branch into other areas of your life.
- Social stigma: Having a DUI on your record comes with a certain degree of social stigma, which may strain your relationships with your friends, family, business partners, and even potential new friends, romantic partners, and networking connections.
- Jobs: DUIs can lead to the loss of certain jobs and licensures. This is especially true in fields like commercial driving, but can be true in many other fields as well. If you do lose your job, you might have more difficulty finding a new one with a DUI on your background check.
- Program Eligibility: Conviction of some types of DUIs can make you ineligible for certain programs, including public housing, scholarships, and other programs and opportunities.
- Custody: If you are in the midst of ongoing custody negotiations, being convicted of a DUI can be counted against you during those negotiations.
- Immigration Status: If you are not yet an official US citizen, being convicted of any crime, especially DUIs, can put your immigration status at risk.
Many people facing a first-time DUI feel overwhelmed by these potential consequences. This is understandable. However, there is also hope. A good attorney can help argue for alternative sentencing available to first-time DUI recipients, which can ultimately avoid conviction and many of the more serious consequences that come with it.
That’s why choosing the right DUI attorney is so essential. In the Old Lyme, Connecticut area, the right choice is Steven Tomeo. Attorney Tomeo has many years of experience arguing DUI cases in court, and is considered one of the foremost experts in Connecticut DUI law. He brings that knowledge and experience to the table for his clients, and it shows. Mr. Tomeo has an outstanding track record of getting the best possible outcomes, especially DUI first-timers. He is a fierce advocate for the underdog, and will work tirelessly to do right by each and every client he takes on.
Are you looking to handle your DUI charges and get on with your life? Are you in Old Lyme, Connecticut, or the surrounding areas? Don’t wait. Call Steven Tomeo and Associates at (860) 764-2744 for a free consultation.