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DUI & License Defense

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DUI & LICENSE DEFENSE

The deck is stacked against anyone charged with DUI.  It is one of the few areas of law where the State gets two chances to impose a penalty and take your driver's license.  You can lose your license in an administrative DOL hearing, or you can lose your license after a criminal conviction in court.  We are here to defend your rights and guide you through the DUI confusion.  

THE COURT PROCESS

If you are charged with DUI, you should have an arraignment scheduled the following business day.  Although, some counties delay the arraignment by filing the charge by summons or mailing a notice to appear.  If the Judge can make a finding of probable cause, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle or get a 24/7 alcohol monitoring device.  The Ignition Interlock Device or 24/7 monitoring device is required for second offense DUI's.  Although, certain judges may impose the requirements for first-time offenders.  These requirements are to ensure that you are not arrested again for driving while intoxicated.  While many things can be argued to suppress your stop, your arrest, your breath sample, or your blood sample, these arguments cannot be heard at an arraignment hearing. Motions to dismiss are heard at a separate hearing long after your arraignment.    

Lyliane Couture is skilled at arguing motions to suppress and dismiss DUI cases.  But, the laws are stacked against DUI defendants.  It used to be that an error in a breath test resulted in suppression of that breath test.  Now, juries are required to hear evidence of improperly conducted breath tests and decide whether or not to believe the results.  This results in more plea deals in DUI cases.  And, If convicted of DUI, your driver's license will be suspended.  

An ignition interlock license is available during a period of a driver's license suspension.  An ignition interlock is required for 6 months for a second offense DUI amended to Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving.  And we can guide you through the process to apply for an ignition interlock license or restricted driver's license, so you can still continue to drive.   

The Court can also impose up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5000.00 fine.  Other requirements frequently imposed by the court include alcohol evaluation and treatment, electronic home monitoring, community service, victims impact panel, SR22 insurance, and supervised probation.  

THE ADMINISTRATIVE DOL HEARING

You can also have your driver's license suspended by the DOL.  

Your license can be suspended for:

1.  Not requesting a DOL hearing within SEVEN (7) days of arrest.

2.  Refusing to provide a breath test to a law enforcement officer

3.  Providing a breath sample with a concentration of over .08 (if 21 or over).

If your license is suspended by the DOL you can apply for an ignition interlock license.  The ignition interlock license requirement is for the length of your license suspension.  Your license can be suspended by DOL even if you are found not guilty in court, or your case is dismissed.  

Lyliane Couture represents clients in court, at administrative DOL hearings and also files DOL appeals in Superior Court.  If you appeal your DOL license suspension you may be eligible for a stay, which means you can continue to drive without an ignition interlock device.  An appeal of the Hearings Officer's decision must be filed within 30 days.  

We also defend charges of Physical Control, which has similar consequences to DUI, and Minor DUI (Minor Operating a Motor Vehicle after consuming Alcohol or Marijuana), a misdemeanor.  

A DUI can have serious consequences.  Lyliane Couture has successfully defended DUI's and DOL hearings since 2008 and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.  You only have SEVEN (7) days to request a DOL hearing.  Call today to schedule a free consultation.  

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