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Facing a Rhode Island DUI charge can be a terrifying experience. If you are like most people we represent, you may not know where to turn. We can help. The Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm's team of experienced local criminal defense lawyers have been repeatedly selected as one of the TOP THREE BEST RHODE ISLAND DUI ATTORNEYS by Three Best Rated. Former DUI clients and peers have consistently rated their lawyers one the best Rhode Island DUI attorneys. For ten straight years ('14-'23), Attorney Marin has been selected by SuperLawyers as one of Rhode Island's best criminal defense attorneys and his defense strategies (for drunk driving and chemical test refusal violations) have been featured in the Providence Journal and Rhode Island Lawyer's Weekly.

Rhode Island DUI Book written by Attorney Stefanie Murphy

Our Defense Attorneys Wrote the 2024 Book 

on Trying DUI Cases in Rhode Island!

Editor and Co-Author: Attorney Stefanie Murphy

Co-Author: Attorney Angelica Bovis

DUI Attorneys at the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm

Top Rated Rhode Island DUI Attorneys

Available 24/7 at 401-228-8271

As local drunk driving lawyers, we concentrate our efforts on providing the best defense to those charged in our major cities and towns like Warwick, Cranston, Westerly and North Kingstown as well as defending the large number individuals arrested and charged by the Rhode Island State Police with DUI.

Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer for Your DUI?

When facing DUI charges in Rhode Island, hiring an experienced and skilled DUI lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Facing a DUI charge can be daunting, and the consequences can be severe including a significant license suspension and the potential for jail time. However, with the right expertise and legal counsel, the challenges you face can be managed more effectively. Here's why seeking the assistance of a skilled DUI attorney is crucial to your legal defense:

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Benefits of Legal Representation

  • Understanding Charges: Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the nuances of DUI laws in Rhode Island. A skilled DUI attorney can demystify the legal jargon and help you understand the nature of your charges, the potential consequences, and the legal process ahead. This understanding is crucial for making informed decisions about your case.

  • Building a Defense: Each DUI case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and challenges. An experienced DUI attorney can meticulously examine the details of your case, from the reason for the initial stop to the administration of a breathalyzer test by the Police Officer. By doing so, they can develop a strategic defense plan, identifying any procedural errors or legal flaws in the charges against you. This might involve challenging the legality of the DUI checkpoint, the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, or the conduct of the arresting officers.

  • Negotiating Plea Bargains: In many DUI cases, the outcome hinges on the ability to effectively negotiate with prosecutors. An experienced lawyer, familiar with local prosecutors and their tactics, can often negotiate plea bargains that result in reduced charges or penalties. This aspect of legal representation is particularly crucial in DUI cases, where the potential consequences can include hefty fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. A good attorney can often negotiate terms that are more favorable than what an individual might achieve on their own.

Recent 2024 Drunk Driving Defense Case Result

(1) DUI (BAC Unknown)

In a challenging legal battle that unfolded in the Kent County District Court and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal, our Client found themselves facing serious allegations following a motor vehicle accident. A local Police Department charged the client with DUI (BAC Unknown) and Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test, among other traffic offenses. Complicating our Client's situation the fact that he had a prior alcohol-related offense, even though it fell outside the five-year look-back window.

The incident in question occurred one evening when, following a motor vehicle accident, arriving officers suspected our Client of driving under the influence. Opting to exercise their rights, the Client refused all field sobriety tests and the chemical test, declining also to make any statements to the police. The accident resulted in significant personal injury to the Client himself, including a broken rib, adding a layer of complexity to the case.

Attorney Angelica Bovis, advocating in the defense of her Client, leveraged a strategic defense approach from the onset. Attorney Bovis's primary strategy focused on the Client's refusal to partake in sobriety tests and provide police statements, thus constraining the evidence the prosecution had available against them. This tactical decision allowed for a stronger negotiation stance with the prosecution, emphasizing both the lack of concrete evidence and the Client's serious injuries sustained from the accident.

Through meticulous negotiation and advocacy, Attorney Bovis successfully argued for the amendment of the DUI charge to reckless driving, effectively avoiding any further license suspension for the client. Moreover, the refusal to submit to a chemical test charge, along with the various other traffic violations faced by the client, were dismissed. This outcome not only preserved the client's driving privileges but also mitigated the potential long-term impacts on their record.

The resolution of this case on February 20th, 2024, underscores the importance of a tailored defense strategy, particularly in cases involving complex legal and evidentiary challenges. Attorney Bovis's adept handling of the case facilitated a favorable outcome, reaffirming the critical role of skilled legal representation in navigating the intricacies of DUI and traffic-related offenses.


Importance of Experience and Knowledge

Local Law Expertise: Rhode Island DUI laws are intricate, and their application can vary significantly from case to case. A local Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer who is deeply familiar with these laws is an invaluable asset. They possess the knowledge to navigate the legal system effectively, understanding how to interpret the laws in the context of your specific situation. Their expertise extends to recognizing nuances in the law that could be pivotal in your defense. This local law expertise is particularly vital given that DUI laws can differ greatly from one jurisdiction to another within the state.

Courtroom Experience: The ability to effectively argue a case in court is an art that comes from experience. Lawyers who regularly handle DUI cases in Rhode Island courts bring a wealth of courtroom experience. They understand not just the legal aspect, but also the dynamics of a trial - from jury selection to the presentation of evidence, and the nuances of cross-examination. This experience is crucial in ensuring that your case is presented as persuasively and compellingly as possible, which can be a decisive factor in the outcome of your trial.

Potential Consequences of Not Hiring an Attorney

Increased Legal Risk: Facing DUI charges without professional legal assistance significantly increases your risk of facing the maximum penalties. These penalties can range from substantial fines and the suspension of your driver's license to severe jail time. The legal system can be unforgiving, and without an experienced advocate on your side, you might miss crucial opportunities to defend yourself and suffer severe penalties. A lawyer's understanding of legal procedures and potential defense strategies is critical in reducing the severity of the penalties you might face.

Long-Term Impact: The consequences of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the courtroom and the immediate penalties imposed. Such convictions can have far-reaching effects on your personal and professional life. They can impact your employment opportunities, professional licensing, insurance rates, and even your social and family relationships. An experienced DUI attorney can work to mitigate these long-term consequences, whether it's through a strong defense leading to a dismissal of charges, a reduction of the charges, or a well-negotiated plea bargain.

In conclusion, the benefits of hiring an experienced drunk driving lawyer extend beyond the courtroom. They provide peace of mind by handling legal complexities and strategizing for the best possible outcome. If you're facing driving under the influence charges, it's in your best interest to consult with a lawyer who understands the intricacies of Rhode Island's DUI laws and can offer a robust defense on your behalf.

Why Hire Marin, Barrett, and Murphy for Your Drunk Driving Case?

Rhode Island DUI Lawyers covering the Jamestown Bridge in Rhode Island

We understand what is personally at stake for you – a potential criminal conviction, jail sentence, suspension of your driver's license, and impact on your job, your family, and your reputation.  That's why we give each client the personalized attention their case needs to achieve the best possible result.  Our clients appreciate this approach and we are very proud of what our former clients have to say about us online in places like Google, Facebook, and AVVO.  The Rhode Island DUI lawyers at Marin Barrett, and Murphy have received over 400 online reviews with an average rating 5.0 out of 5 stars.  Please see our Client Reviews page for a compilation of their testimonials and to understand why. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 to discuss your case and how we can help you.

In Rhode Island, a drunk driving or drugged driving allegation is a criminal charge that carries the possibility of a prison sentence, suspension of your driver's license, and lengthy ignition interlock device requirements upon DUI conviction.  Rhode Island drunk driving laws carry mandatory minimum jail sentences for subsequent offenses, and for first offenses that have aggravating circumstances.  Some judges impose jail sentences even in first offense driving under the influence cases.  A guilty verdict or poorly negotiated plea can stick with you for the rest of your life.  With a wide range of DUI penalties in Rhode Island, if you have been recently arrested for driving under the influence contact the experienced defense attorneys at Marin, Barrett, and Murphy today for immediate legal advice and excellent representation.  We handle cases Statewide from Woonsocket to Providence to Narragansett and Newport.

One of Our Former Client's 5 Star Reviews of Marin, Barrett, and Murphy: 

Review by Former DUI Client Mark Z. on

Hiring Matthew Marin to represent me was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was arrested for DUI and feared the worst. But Matthew Marin truly saved me. He was successful in having the breathalyzer results thrown out, then took my case all the way to trial, where he was able to convince a judge that without said results, the prosecution could not meet the burden of proof necessary to convict. I was found NOT GUILTY, and I couldn’t be more relieved. I would recommend Matthew Marin to anyone charged with a DUI in the state of Rhode Island.

At Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Our Primary Focus is on Drunk Driving Defense

As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we focus a major portion of our practice defending those individuals facing driving under the influence charges in Rhode Island (commonly referred to as DUI, DWI, or OUI charges). We have more than 25 years of experience defending the accused and we have NEVER prosecuted DUI cases. Our DUI defense strategies have been featured in the Providence Journal (May 2015 & June 2015) and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly (most recently August 2017) numerous times.

Unlike most areas of criminal defense, Rhode Island DUI defense is an area of law in which an experienced defense attorney can challenge and beat cases in which the typical client or inexperience attorney may believe there is no chance of success. These charges are extremely technical and to successfully prosecute a case the prosecutor must prove that the police complied with literally dozens of statutory and regulatory provisions.  Oftentimes, we can utilize these legal and factual issues to negotiate a favorable DUI plea bargain on your behalf. Follow the links below to learn more about DWI charges, penalties, and possible defenses from our experienced defense lawyers or call us now for immediate defense assistance at 401-228-8271 or you can email us at [email protected].

Attorney Marin Explains the DUI Laws and Penalties in Rhode Island

Follow the links below to learn more about the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm's legal experience as DUI defense attorneys and to review the laws applicable to DUI cases.

After you have had an opportunity to review the information on our website, please give serious consideration to speaking directly with our team of defense attorneys at the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy DUI defense law firm. We will be able to answer your questions, calm your nerves, and provide you with a realistic, no nonsense evaluation of your case. As experienced and locally based defense lawyers, we have handled cases like yours in the past. This means we know what to expect, we can evaluate your case properly, and we can work to achieve the best result possible for you.  Call us now for a no obligation DUI defense strategy session at 401-228-8271.

Rhode Island Drunk Driving Laws are complicated and require the expertise and attention of an experienced drunk driving defense attorney.  Most first-offense driving under the influence charges in Rhode Island are brought after one of two typical scenarios:

Arrested for DUI After Refusing A Chemical Test: What Happens Next?

A majority of individuals in Rhode Island that are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence refuse to submit to a chemical test; that can be either a breath test or a blood test.  When you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence and Refuse a Chemical Test in Rhode Island the DUI process involves facing two different cases in two different courts.  The DUI charge is a criminal offense which is prosecuted initially in the Rhode Island District Court and it carries criminal penalties, including potentially up to one year in jail (even for a first offense).  This driving under the influence charge is routinely referred to as a "DUI BAC Unknown."  

What does DUI / BAC Unknown mean in RI?

The phrase "DUI BAC Unknown" indicates that the Police allege the Defendant operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol at a time when the Defendant's blood alcohol content was unknown (due to the chemical test refusal).  The Refusal Charge is a civil traffic violation which is prosecuted in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal and carries severe civil penalties, including up to a one year loss of your privileges to operate in Rhode Island.

Penalties for DUI (BAC Unknown) in Rhode Island

Arrested for DUI After Failing A Chemical Test: What Happens Next?

If you find yourself charged with driving under the influence in Rhode Island and you submitted to a chemical test (also known as a breathalyzer test or blood test), the prosecution of the case against you is based upon your failed breath or blood test.  In the case of a failed test, the severity or the degree of your drunk driving charge is based on the results of that breath or blood test.  There are three 'brackets' in which the penalties become more severe as blood alcohol content results increase.  The brackets for blood alcohol content (BAC) in Rhode Island are 0.08 to 0.10 (lowest bracket), 0.10 to 0.15 (middle bracket), and 0.15 and above (highest bracket).  In terms of legal jargon, the lowest bracket is often referred to as a "0.08 DUI" and the highest bracket is often referred to as a "0.15 DUI" or a "DUI with High Readings."

Penalties for DUI Charges with Readings in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Driving Under the Influence Legal Process

Facing a DUI charge in Rhode Island can be a complex and intimidating process. However, with the right legal representation, you can navigate through it more effectively. Here's an overview of the process of a typical Rhode Island drunk driving case we handle:

Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

The journey starts with an initial consultation. During this meeting, your attorney will review the details of your arrest and any charges against you. This is the time to share all relevant information about the incident, as the smallest detail can sometimes make a significant difference. The lawyer will also explain your rights, potential consequences, and the legal options available to you.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

After taking on your case, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation. This includes gathering all available evidence such as police reports, breathalyzer test results, witness statements, and video footage. The objective is to scrutinize every aspect of your case to identify any procedural errors or legal defenses that can be used in your favor.

Building a DUI Defense Strategy

With the information gathered, your attorney will develop a defense strategy. This strategy will be tailored to the specifics of your drunk driving case, whether it involves challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the sobriety tests, or negotiating for a lesser charge based on mitigating circumstances.

Negotiations with the Prosecution

Before the case goes to trial, there's often an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecution. An experienced DUI lawyer will use this phase to negotiate the best possible outcome for you, which could involve reduced charges, lesser penalties, or even dismissal of the case in certain circumstances.

Court Proceedings and Trial

If your case proceeds to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court, presenting your defense and challenging the prosecution's evidence. The trial process involves selecting a jury, making opening statements, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and delivering closing arguments.

Post-Conviction Issues

If convicted, there are still steps that your attorney can take on your behalf. This may include filing appeals against the court's decision, working towards getting a conviction expunged, or assisting with license reinstatement procedures. Additionally, your lawyer can guide you through any required steps such as DUI school or community service.

License Suspension Penalties for a Rhode Island Drunk Driving Charge

Facing a charge of driving under the influence in Rhode Island can be a daunting experience, primarily due to the significant implications it has on your driving privileges. Understanding the nuances of license suspension penalties is crucial in navigating the legal process and mitigating the impact on your daily life.

When is my license going to be suspended?

The timing of a license suspension in Rhode Island depends on the specifics of your case. Typically, if you are charged with a DUI, typically your license will not be suspended until you are either plead guilty or are convicted after trial for the DUI charge.  However, if you refuse a chemical test your license will typically be suspended immediately upon your arraignment at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

Can I get permission to drive while my license is suspended for DUI?

Rhode Island law recognizes the hardship a license suspension can cause, particularly in relation to employment. As a result, you may be eligible for a Conditional Hardship License. This license permits limited driving privileges, primarily for commuting to and from your workplace, during the period of suspension.

What are the requirements for getting a Rhode Island conditional hardship license?

To obtain a Rhode Island Conditional Hardship License, several criteria must be met:

  • You must have been sentenced for a DUI or apply at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal if charged with a breathalyzer refusal or blood test refusal.
  • An ignition interlock device must be installed in your vehicle.
  • You must provide proof of employment, including work hours or other information relative to your request.

The court, after evaluating your situation, decides the eligibility for this license on a case-by-case basis.

How long will I lose my license for if I am convicted of DUI in Rhode Island?

The duration of license suspension in Rhode Island varies based on the offense:

  • First Offense DUI Conviction: For a standard first offense, the suspension can range from three months to a year, depending on the circumstances and your blood alcohol content level at the time of the arrest.
  • Second Offense DUI Conviction: A second offense typically results in a longer suspension period, often between one to two years.
  • Chemical Test Refusal Conviction: Refusing a chemical test can result in a separate suspension from the DMV, which may last from six months to a year for a first offense, with longer periods for subsequent refusals.

Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Received the "10 Best" Award for DUI Defense from 2015 thru 2023

Top Rated DUI Lawyer in Rhode Island

Recently, the attorneys at Marin, Barrett, and Murphy were named one of the "10 Best" drunk driving attorneys in the State of Rhode Island from 2015 through 2023 by the American Institute for DUI/DWI Attorneys.  This is the fifth year in a row that Attorney Matthew Marin has been named one of Rhode Island's "10 Best."  You can visit the American Institute for DUI/DWI Attorney's website and view their ranking and accrediting procedure.  To receive the "10 Best" Award, an Attorney must be nominated by the Board, his Client's and/or his Peers and, in addition to other criteria, the Attorney must have a 10/10 in Client Satisfaction.

Providing Cutting Edge DUI Defense as a Member of the National College for DUI Defense

Rhode Island DUI Lawyer

As a Members of the National College for DUI Defense, Attorneys Matthew Marin and Attorney Kensley Barrett are constantly kept abreast of all cutting edge legal decisions and precedents as well as scientific issues and challenges that arise in the practice of drunk driving defense throughout the country.  We have argued some of the most cutting edge and front line legal issues related to Rhode Island Drunk Driving Defense in DUI trials throughout the State of RI.  In addition to cutting edge issues, our Membership in the National College for DUI Defense makes available a wide range of legal and scientific resources which is often and consistently utilized in the defense of our Rhode Island DUI clients.  The Membership creates a competitive advantage when arguing motions and questioning witnesses and oftentimes prosecutors and other defense attorneys do not have access to this information.  For experienced legal representation for DUI cases from skilled defense attorneys, contact Rhode Island drunk driving lawyers at Marin, Barrett, and Murphy at 401-228-8271 or via email at [email protected]

In conclusion, when facing DUI charges, it's essential to find a DUI defense lawyer in Rhode Island with a proven track record and deep understanding of Rhode Island DUI laws. Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm is your go-to source for experienced legal representation for DUI charges in Rhode Island. Our top-rated Rhode Island DUI attorneys are recognized for their exceptional DUI defense success rate, and we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality of legal services whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges. We understand the nuances of Rhode Island DUI laws and are well-equipped to offer you the best possible defense. Whether you're looking to hire a Rhode Island DUI attorney or need guidance on DUI defense fees, our team is available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 to assist you and provide effective representation for your legal matters. Trust us to navigate the complexities of your case and defend your rights with unparalleled expertise and dedication. Don't wait, act now by contacting the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm today for comprehensive and effective DUI defense in Rhode Island.

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.