First Offense DUI Charges in Rhode Island

Criminal Defense Law Office Of John E. MacDonald, Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island

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There’s no question that being charged with a DUI is a troubling and scary experience. This is especially true if it’s your first offense DUI in Rhode Island. Law enforcement takes drunk driving seriously and penalties can be severe, so it’s important to know what to do after your first DUI arrest.

The Law Office of John E. MacDonald, Inc. is ready to aggressively defend you and guide you through the legal proceedings that occur after your first DUI in Rhode Island. John E. MacDonald has over 25 years of experience helping clients win their alcohol-related driving offenses, making him your best line of defense if you’re facing your first offense DUI in Rhode Island. Contact or call The Law Office Of John E. MacDonald, Inc. today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case at 401.421.1440.

What You Need to Know About a First Offense DUI in Rhode Island

We know that facing your first offense DUI in Rhode Island can be confusing, complex, and overwhelming. That’s why we like our clients to be well informed when it comes to navigating Rhode Island DUI laws, policies, and penalties. Below you’ll find frequently asked questions regarding a first offense DUI in Rhode Island. To speak with an experienced DUI attorney about your case, call The Law Office Of John E. MacDonald, Inc. today at 401.421.1440

What can you expect if you’ve been charged with a DUI for the first time?

If you’ve received your first offense DUI in Rhode Island, you’ll be required to attend an arraignment hearing at a District Court shortly after the date of your arrest.

At your arrangement hearing, you’ll be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It’s highly recommended to consult with a DUI attorney before you attend an arraignment.

Your DUI lawyer needs to know the details of your arrest and the circumstances surrounding your case. For instance, if you refused a breathalyzer test or if you or someone else was hurt in an accident at the time of your first offense DUI, it’s important to have an experienced DUI attorney by your side to guide you through the arraignment process. Call Rhode Island DUI lawyer John E. MacDonald at 401.421.1440 today to learn more. 

What are the penalties for a first offense DUI in Rhode Island?

The penalties for a first offense DUI in Rhode Island will vary depending on the details of the arrest and the surrounding circumstances. Judges have the right to decipher the severity of the penalties for a first offense DUI, as long as it’s considered within the range of punishments established by Rhode Island DUI laws

First Offense DUI Penalties in Rhode Island 

For drivers with a BAC of .08% or higher: 

  • Jail time – Up to 1 year
  • License Suspension – 30 days to 12 months 
  • Fines – $100 – $400
  • Community Service – Up to 60 hours

For drivers with a BAC of .15% or higher: 

  • Jail time – Up to 1 year
  • License Suspension – 30 days to 18 months 
  • Fines – $500 or more
  • Community Service – Up to 60 hours

For drivers who are under the age of 21: 

  • License Suspension – 30 days to 3 months 
  • Fines – $250
  • Community Service – Up to 30 hours

*May also be required to participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program or class. 

Do first-time DUI offenders go to jail? 

While it is possible to be required to serve jail time after a first offense DUI in Rhode Island, it’s not very common. Most first offense DUI charges will not result in jail time. However, this will depend on your specific circumstances and the severity of your DUI case. For instance, if another driver or pedestrian was struck and injured at the time of your DUI arrest, you could face jail time. To lessen your chances of facing jail time, it’s highly advised to hire a DUI attorney to handle your case. 

Is a first offense DUI considered a felony or a misdemeanor? 

In the state of Rhode Island, a first offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor and can result in up to 1 year in jail. To learn more about the difference between DUI felonies and misdemeanors, contact our law firm to speak with an attorney. 

Will I lose my driver’s license after a first DUI offense? 

This is one of the most common questions that drivers have after facing their first DUI offense. If convicted of a DUI, you’ll most likely face a license suspension. This could range from 30 days to 18 months depending on the circumstances. Having an experienced Rhode Island DUI attorney can be incredibly useful when a judge is determining the extent of your penalties. A DUI attorney can help negotiate on your behalf to lessen your license suspension period to the shortest period of time possible. Contact The Law Office Of John E. MacDonald, Inc. today to learn more about drivers’ license suspensions in relation to first-time DUI offenses. 

Should I plead guilty to a first DUI offense in Rhode Island? 

Many first-time DUI offenders will assume that they should simply plead guilty to a DUI charge and face the consequences, especially if there are BAC results of a breathalyzer. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s your right to hire a DUI attorney and plead not guilty with the legal guidance of your lawyer. There are countless errors that law enforcement can make throughout a typical DUI arrest.

In addition, breathalyzers often malfunction and produce false results. Because of this, it’s never advised to just plead guilty to a first DUI offense in Rhode Island without speaking with a DUI attorney first. Contact The Law Office Of John E. MacDonald, Inc. today to discuss your case. 

What are your chances of beating a first offense DUI case?

The key thing to remember before your DUI arraignment hearing is that it is possible to beat a first offense DUI charge. However, the likelihood of this happening is significantly diminished without the help of a Rhode Island DUI attorney. As mentioned above, mistakes often happen during a DUI arrest and breathalyzer devices can malfunction, producing inconclusive or false BAC results.

Only with the assistance of a skilled and experienced DUI attorney can you beat a DUI charge. To learn more about common DUI defense strategies for first-time offenses, contact our law office today to speak with an attorney. 

Do I need to hire a lawyer if it’s my first DUI? 

Absolutely. By hiring a Rhode Island DUI attorney, you know that you’re taking the path towards the best possible outcome. Without the assistance of a DUI lawyer, you may be pleading guilty to a DUI charge that could have potentially been dismissed. You could also be facing the harshest penalties or even serving unnecessary jail time.

Only a skilled and experienced DUI attorney can lessen your penalties and punishments and assure you that you’re taking all of the appropriate legal steps. It’s never advised to risk facing a DUI charge alone. Contact John E. MacDonald to learn more about how a Rhode Island DUI attorney can assist you through your first offense DUI. 

Contact the Best Rhode Island DUI Attorney 

At The Rhode Island Criminal Defense Law Office of John E. MacDonald, Inc., we’re available 24-hours 7 days a week to take care of your first offense DUI case. Don’t leave your future to chance, contact Rhode Island DUI Lawyer John E. MacDonald today.