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FAQ Video: Is My Drivers License Valid After a Rhode Island DUI Arrest?

"Hello, and thank you for watching our informational video on Rhode Island DUI laws. My name is attorney Matt Marin, and this is part one of a six-part series, where we answer some of our clients' most frequently asked questions.

Before we begin, I must stress that it is extremely important in the area of DUI law to handle an experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island DUI attorney to handle your case. The area of DUI law is a very detail-oriented aspect of the law. Your lawyer who will represent you on a DUI charge should be intimately familiar with these laws, including the court process, the judges and the prosecutors who will be handling your cases, as well as the likely outcomes and dispositions for these types of cases.

I've personally handled thousands of Rhode Island DUI cases successfully, and achieved great results for all of our clients. One of the most frequently asked questions that we are asked on a daily basis representing DUI clients is, "What is the status of my driver's license?" This is an extremely important area of handling DUI cases, and one that is of most pressing concern to all of our clients.

To determine the status of your driver's license or privilege to operate in Rhode Island, you need to look at three different areas. First, we need to look at was your license suspended when you were arrested and charged with DUI? If your license was not suspended at the time you were stopped by the police, then your license prior to going to court will remain active and valid. Once we get to court, we need to look at the type of case we're handling. 

If it's a driving under the influence, a DUI case in Rhode Island, the vast majority of those individuals will keep their driver's license until the end of the case. The exception to this general rule is if the individual is ordered by the judge at their arraignment that their license is to be suspended as a condition of bail. This is an extremely unusual situation and typically only occurs in aggravated situations, or situations in which the client is facing a second or third offense DUI charge.

If we are looking at a chemical test refusal charge, a traffic violation, a first-offense chemical test refusal charge will be handled at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. The Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal standard procedure for chemical test refusal charges is to issue a preliminary suspension at your arraignment, your first appearance at the Traffic Tribunal. At your first appearance, the police will submit paperwork to the court in an attempt to preliminarily suspend your license. An experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island DUI attorney will have the information and arguments necessary to fight against that eventuality. If the court does in fact suspend your license at the outset of the case, at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal on a chemical test refusal charge, you will be prohibited from driving until that case is resolved. If you hold an out-of-state driver's license, your privileges to operate a motor vehicle in Rhode Island are suspended until the case is resolved. But you will remain able to operate a motor vehicle out of state, in your home state, until and unless you receive information from your home state DMV suspending your privileges in that state.

The key takeaway from our informational video is that we want you to understand that if your license was not suspended when you were arrested and charged with DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test, your license will remain valid until you head to court. It is extremely important that you use this interim period prior to your court dates to obtain the services and representation of an experienced Rhode Island DUI attorney. A Rhode Island DUI attorney will be able to effectively prepare your case for court appearances, and prepare to argue against a preliminary license suspension at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

In our upcoming series of videos, we will discuss the core process for both DUI and chemical test refusal cases. We will discuss the likelihood of a DUI conviction and/or a jail sentence in your case, as well as the process for DUI expungement and the possible license suspension consequences for DUI cases and chemical test refusal cases in Rhode Island.

Lastly, this video was intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is always best to obtain the services of an experienced and skilled Rhode Island DUI attorney to represent you in court. Nothing can replace the advice and counsel of your attorney."

Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.