No, you do not automatically lose your license for a DUI in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, you will never automatically lose your license after being arrested and charged with DUI in RI. At a minimum, you will keep your drivers license until you appear in Court at your first court date.
Rhode Island DUI law provides for enhanced penalties for those charged with DUI when you have been convicted of a prior DUI offense within the preceding five years. This is in contrast to other states, including Massachusetts, where there is a lifetime look-back period.
Your first appearance before a District Court Judge on a Rhode Island DUI charge is referred to as an arraignment. You will be asked for your name, address, and date of birth. The Judge will then proceed with the arraignment and ask you if you plead guilty or not guilty.
A first offense DUI charge that resulted in a conviction will remain on your record for at least five years and may be removed if you are legally eligible under the Rhode Island expungement law.
The Rhode Island implied consent law means that when you are issued a drivers license you impliedly consent to taking a chemical test if arrested on suspicion of DUI.
As a motorist you are legally obligated to submit to a preliminary breath test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer who has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence in the State of Rhode Island. If you are requested to take a preliminary breath test and you refuse, you will be subject to an $85 fine but you will not face the likelihood of a license suspension based on this violation.
In Rhode Island, if your DUI case heads to trial the Prosecution will not be able to tell the jury that you refused to submit to a breath test. While you can be cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test, the Rhode Island DUI law specifically prohibits the Prosecution from using this evidence against you at trial with some limited exceptions.
We are frequently asked by potential clients if it is possible to beat a Rhode Island DUI charge if you have submitted to and failed a breath test. Like most questions in the law, the answer is not always a straightforward yes or no. On the positive side, it is absolutely possible to beat a RI DUI case after failing a chemical breath test. It is by no means automatic that you will lose your case and be convicted just because you took a chemical breath test and your readings were over the legal limit. On the other hand, it is also not a sure thing that your case can or will be beaten.
The fine imposed for a DUI conviction in Rhode Island varies based on the nature and severity of the offense charged. For first offense DUI convictions, the fine imposed for can range between $100 and $500.
Most individuals charged with driving under the influence in Rhode Island a DUI charge will not result in a jail sentence. However, for those charged with DUI’s involving aggravating circumstances or second and third offense DUI charges, the likelihood of jail increases substantially.
The charge of “dui/first offense/bal unk” indicates that you are being charged with a first offense drunk driving charge and that the police do not have blood or breath test evidence against you. Instead, they intend to proceed with observation evidence of your impaired operation and believe they can prove that you were operating a motor vehicle at a time that you were impaired to a degree that rendered you incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
Were you stopped and charged with driving on a suspended license after your license had been suspended for refusal to submit to a chemical test in RI? If so, you are facing a very serious criminal offense that carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least ten days if convicted for a first offense.
Under most circumstances, being charged with DUI or drunk driving will not result in felony charges being brought against the driver. The vast majority of DUI charges brought and prosecuted in the State of Rhode Island are misdemeanor charges.
It is common for us to represent Clients who have run into trouble before outside the State of Rhode Island. Due to the fact that each State maintains their own set of criminal and drunk driving laws, trying to determine whether a prior run-in with the law constitutes a "prior offense" under the Rhode Island DUI law can be more difficult that it seems.
June 26, 2017 - The Rhode Island State Police made twelve arrests for drunk driving and one arrest for boating under the influence over the late June summer weekend.
The Rhode Island Senate is currently considering legislation that would effectively eliminate life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders by mandating that anyone convicted of a crime before the age of 18 be eligible for parole in 15 years.
A proposed bill in 2017 would allow Rhode Islander's to expunge more than one misdemeanor criminal conviction under certain circumstances. Read our full blog post to learn more about the possible changes coming to the Rhode Island expungement law.
Experienced Rhode Island DUI Attorney Matthew Marin says that Rhode Island residents will be under extra scrutiny during Rhode Island's DUI crackdown this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
PROBATION VIOLATIONS - Last week, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued an order amended the Rhode Island District Court Rules of Criminal Procedure with respect to probation violations. Read our post to discover how the new legal standard imposed for District Court probation violations may impact your case.
In a recent decision handed down by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, the Court ruled that a Rhode Island State Police Trooper lacked probable cause to arrest and search a defendant for drugs based on the information provided by a confidential informant.
In the near future, the United States Supreme Court will determine whether it is constitutional for the State of Rhode Island to criminally punish individuals for refusing to submit to a chemical test. The impact of this determination could be huge. If you are charged with a second offense chemical test refusal in Rhode Island, be sure to speak with an experienced Rhode Island DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible.
Rhode Island Lawyer's Weekly has featured a new drug defense technique featured by Attorney Matthew Marin in a marijuana possession case in their most recent issue.
Attorney Matthew Marin was recently featured in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly in an extended question and answer regarding recent litigation involving the Rhode Island DUI RIghts Form as well as a recent Superior Court ruling on the issue.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has charged two men with the theft of oysters from Point Judith Pond based on an incident that occurred last fall.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is renewing a push for tougher penalties that he calls a better deterrent for the harm caused by drunk drivers. According to AG Kilmartin, "Choosing to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired on drugs is like playing with a loaded fi...