DUI Law in Hartford, CT

What Is a DUI?

DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.

Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney in Hartford, Connecticut who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.

Possible Consequences of a Hartford, Connecticut DUI Conviction

Where you live, the severity of the incident, and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a Hartford law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.

Paying Fines

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Hartford, Connecticut, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. Under Connecticut DUI Laws, the fine for your first DUI can range from $500 to $1000. However, for subsequent DUIs you can face fines as high as $8000.

However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:

  • Any damage to property while driving under the influence
  • If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
  • Cases that include child endangerment
  • Any court costs associated with your case

Jail Time

Jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders in Hartford. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in prison. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can be sentenced to several months or years, depending on the nature of the crime. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.

Probation

If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.

The terms of your DUI probation can include alcohol treatment, DUI education, and fines. However, if you violate your probation, you can face penalties of additional fines, an extension of your probation term, or even jail time. The Connecticut Judicial Branch has more than twenty probation offices across the state, three of which are located in Hartford.

Drug and Alcohol Education Program

Following a Hartford DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.

Connecticut offers a Pretrial Alcohol Education Program as part of the diversion option for first time DUI offenders. However, the burden of convincing the court that you are a candidate for diversion falls on you and your attorney. If a diversion is granted, you will be evaluated by an authorized substance abuse professional. Based on their assessment, they will make a recommendation to the court for either an educational intervention program or an alcohol treatment program. The educational option can either be a 10 week program or a 15 week intensive program, depending on your assessment results. In addition, you are responsible for the cost of the program, which can range from $550 to $700, including application fees. The approved provider for evaluation and education in Hartford is Catholic Charities, located at 45 Wadsworth St.

The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program.

Suspension or Loss of License

No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.

If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.

What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in Hartford, Connecticut?

If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:

Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With Hartford, CT DUI Law

Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Hartford DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.

Step 2: Learn About Your Local DUI Laws

Hartford, Connecticut has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case. 

Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing

You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest. In Hartford, Connecticut you only have so much time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license until your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension.

If your license is suspended after a DUI arrest in Hartford, you can request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your suspension will typically begin 30 days after your arrest, but you only have 7 days from the date of the suspension notification to request your hearing. The request can be made by phone or email, but the hearing will be in person. There are no hearing locations in Hartford, and you will be assigned to appear in either Bridgeport, Old Saybrook, Waterbury, or Wethersfield.

Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance

You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Hartford. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.

Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration

You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.

Work with an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut

Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced Hartford, CT lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you today. We can even help you connect with legal help across Connecticut state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.

Secured & Trusted

technolawyer