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First Offense DUI Charges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law severely punishes those charged and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Everyday we work to defend those charged with first offense DUI in Rhode Island.  Most of our clients who have been charged with driving under the influence have never been through an experience like a DUI arrest before.  Most have never been in trouble, have never been the subject of a police investigation, and have never been to a criminal court before. They are oftentimes ashamed of their actions and think that the situation is so dire that there is no hope. This is not true, and our track record of success and positive testimonials demonstrates that everyone can benefit from exception and experienced legal representation.

If you find yourself charged with first offense driving under the influence in Rhode Island, you are in a position that literally thousands of people find themselves every year.  At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we have assisted hundreds of people charged with driving under the influence throughout Rhode Island.  We appear daily throughout the Rhode Island court system representing those charged with DUI and we have experience negotiating and litigating complex and serious cases.  Contact Attorney Matthew Marin for a no obligation consultation regarding your case.  We can be reached 24/7 via telephone at 401-228-8271, via our CONTACT FORM, or via email at [email protected].

What are the penalties for a First Offense DUI in Rhode Island?

The consequences of a conviction for first offense DUI in Rhode Island can be extremely severe.  The penalties include a mandatory license suspension, mandatory community service, hefty fines and costs, as well as a possible jail sentence of up to one year.  The license suspension for a first offense DUI conviction can range anywhere from three to twelve months.  The mandatory community service can go as high as sixty hours and the fines and fees can easily reach a few thousand dollars.

Will I lose my drivers license for a First Offense DUI?

For many charged with a first offense DUI, the most pressing issue they are facing is the potential that they may lose their drivers license.  The Rhode Island DUI law requires that the judge impose a minimum of three month loss of license for a first offense DUI conviction.  However, there are ways that an experienced Rhode Island DUI Lawyer can legally maneuver to lower or completely eliminate any loss of your driver's license. While the mandatory minimum loss of license is three months, many judges impose sentences well above the mandatory minimum if they believe that aggravating circumstances justify a longer suspension. Some of those aggravating circumstances include (1) an accident involved in the arrest (2) excessive speed or aggressive operation, (3) rude or inappropriate behavior when interacting with the arresting officers.

**NOTE: New DUI License Suspension Laws go into effect January 1st, 2015 – Call us for more information**

Will I go to jail if I am convicted of a First Offense DUI?

This is another question frequently asked by Clients charged with first offense DUI.  The general answer is No.  Although the Rhode Island DUI law carries up to one year in jail for first time DUI offenders, most people who are arrested and charged in an incident in which no one was seriously injured in the incident will not go to jail.  There are always exceptions to this general answer, so you need to put your best defense forward in every Rhode Island DUI case.

What is “First Offense DUI BAC Unknown”?

The Police frequently charge “first offense DUI BAC unknown” in cases where they suspect an individual to have been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and that individual refused to submit to a chemical test at the Police Station.  This charge is almost always accompanied by a charge of Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test

What is “First Offense DUI BAC 0.08 to 0.10”?

A charge of DUI with blood alcohol results between 0.08 and 0.10 is commonly referred to as a 0.08 DUI.  This charge can be proven with Breath Test Results or Blood Test Results.  The readings, if legally admissible into evidence, constitute per se evidence of an individual's guilt due to the fact that their blood alcohol content is in excess of the legal limit.  Due to the fact that the readings are relatively “low”, the mandatory minimum license suspension on this charge is lowered from three months to thirty days.

What is “First Offense DUI BAC 0.10 to 0.15”?

A charge of DUI with blood alcohol results between 0.10 and 0.15 carries the standard Rhode Island DUI penalties and can also be proven utilizing Breath Test Results or Blood Test Results.  As an individual's blood alcohol content increases, most Rhode Island Judge's will impose harsher and harsher penalties.

What is “First Offense DUI BAC Greater than 0.15”?

A charge of DUI with blood alcohol results in excess of 0.15 constitutes a highly intoxicated DUI charge.  These charges receive heightened scrutiny from Rhode Island prosecutors and Judges.  While a charge of first offense DUI greater than 0.15 typically will not result in a jail sentence, stiffer penalties are always sought on these cases.  Those stiffer penalties often include extended license suspensions (up to one year), drug and alcohol counseling, and supervised probation.

Rhode Island First Offense DUI Law – R.I.G.L. 31-27-2

Information and Sources:

Rhode Island General Laws – Rhode Island First Offense DUI Laws

Rhode Island Department of Health – Breathalyzer Rules and Regulations

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.