License Suspension for First Time DUI Charges in New Haven
The procedure for a New Haven DUI charge is completely different from other states. There are two separate proceedings, one for court and one for the DMV. You can face a license suspension from both the DMV and the court system. If both choose to penalize you, the suspensions will run concurrently with each other. It is important to get a New Haven DUI lawyer to help you navigate the processes involved in both the DMV and court proceedings.
New Haven has two types of first time DUI charges – a first time arrest and a first offense. If this is the individual’s very first arrest they are eligible for the diversionary program and dismissal of court charges. However, even if the court dismisses the case the person can face a license suspension from the Connecticut DMV. At the time of arrest, the police officer will only inform the individual of court proceedings. The DMV will send correspondence letters informing the defendant of their DMV hearing.
DMV Driver’s License Suspension
For a first time arrest, the DMV will suspend the individual’s driver’s license if they register a BAC over 0.08. This is a 45-day hard suspension, meaning no driving, followed by an Ignition Interlock device on their car for six months. If the person refuses a breathalyzer test or any other sobriety tests, then the DMV gives a 45-day hard suspension with a one year Ignition Interlock device on their car.
If you are a first-time offenders and have already been arrested and previously completed the diversionary program, you will face a 45-day hard suspension with a one year Ignition Interlock device. If you refuse sobriety tests, you are facing a 45-day hard license suspension and two years of the Ignition Interlock device, from the Connecticut DMV.
Connecticut Court Driver’s License Penalties
In Connecticut, for first offenders that have completed the diversionary program in the past, the court will move forward with a criminal conviction. A court conviction can carry the possibility of probation with a 45-day hard suspension of an individual’s driver’s license and the Ignition Interlock device for a year.
It is important to note that for first time DUI charges, the driver’s license suspension from both the court and the DMV will run concurrently. The New Haven DMV license suspension begins 30 days after the date of arrest, often before the court has started its suspension, however an experienced DUI lawyer can sometimes have the DMV wait until 45 days after the date of the arrest.
Challenging a License Suspension
There are two suspensions, one that is the result of a conviction and one that is a result of the DMV process. A New Haven attorney can challenge the DMV suspension and is often a successful challenge. The DMV suspension has a very different burden of proof and is a completely different case than the criminal case. The license suspension can be challenged on your first DUI charge and any arrest or charge after that.
When the suspension is a result of a conviction in Connecticut, you cannot challenge the suspension. In other words, if you plead guilty to a DWI in New Haven, your license will be suspended and nobody can change that. The suspension will be upheld unless they go to trial to fight the conviction.
An individual may also apply for a restricted license, known as a work permit or a school permit, after a conviction. A restricted license can be used during the 45-day hard suspension, prior to your Ignition Interlock device use.