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.
Legally, Rhode Island law provides that an individual who has been convicted of drunk driving within the preceding five years is subject to enhanced penalties including second and third offense DUI charges. These second and third offense DUI charges carry mandatory minimum jail sentences.
However, you cannot be charged with a second or third offense DUI charge if your prior drunk driving charge was amended to a lesser offense such as reckless driving or dismissed by the prosecution. If your prior DUI charge was amended to a lesser offense or dismissed, any new DUI charge in the following five years would simply be a first offense DUI charge in Rhode Island.
For purposes of enhanced sentencing, some Rhode Island DUI laws allow the Judge to consider alcohol related offenses on your record in the preceding ten years. For this reason, it is extremely important that you have any DUI charge or DUI conviction expunged from your record as soon as you are legally eligible.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Rhode Island and you have a prior offense or arrest on your record, contact Attorney Matthew Marin for experienced advice about your legal circumstances. We have significant experience analyzing the look-back period and what qualifies as a prior offense under Rhode Island law. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 or via email at [email protected].