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. In every case, you should seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate your case.
Getting caught driving with a suspended license for refusing to submit to a chemical test is a special subset of the State of Rhode Island's laws against driving on a suspended license. When your license is suspended for certain reasons, including refusal to submit to a chemical test, you face extreme penalties for even a first offense. The statute can be found in Rhode Island General Law Section 31-11-18.1.
First Offense - For a fist offense of driving on a suspended license for a chemical test refusal, you face a mandatory fine of $500 and a minimum mandatory jail sentence of ten days to a maximum jail sentence of up to one year.
Second Offense - For a second offense of driving on a suspended license for a chemical test refusal, you also face a mandatory fine of $500 and a minimum mandatory jail sentence of six months to a maximum jail sentence of up to one year.
There are a number of different defenses to these charges. In our experience, these particular offenses can be frequently overcharged or charged in instances where the law should not be applied. Oftentimes, individuals can fail to go back to the DMV to formally reinstate their license upon the conclusion of their chemical test refusal license suspension period. We have handled cases where, years after the sentence had expired, the Client has been stopped and charged under 31-11-18.1 for driving on a suspended license after a chemical test refusal. We have been able to argue effectively that the charge should be reduced to a standard driving on suspended license (now a civil violation) and require only a payment of a fine (not a jail sentence).
If you or a loved one has been stopped and charged with driving on a suspended license after a chemical test refusal give Attorney Matthew Marin a call now. We can sit down with you and explain the charge and penalties that you are facing. We can also explain to you the defenses that you may have as well as how we can work to mitigate the penalties and help you avoid a jail sentence. You can reach us at 401-228-8271 or by email at [email protected].