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Is A DUI A Felony In Connecticut?

Is a DUI a Felony in Connecticut? Understanding the Charges and Potential Consequences

Getting a DUI is a serious business in Connecticut. It can be a life-altering experience, and one of the first questions that arises is: Is a DUI a felony in Connecticut? The answer, like many things in law, is not always straightforward. It depends on several factors, including your driving history and the circumstances of the offense.

First-Time DUI

In most cases, a first-time DUI in Connecticut is not a felony. It is classified as an unclassified misdemeanor, which carries less severe penalties than a felony. However, even a misdemeanor DUI can have significant consequences, including:

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  • Jail time: Up to 1 year
  • Fines: Up to $2,500
  • License suspension: 6 months to 1 year
  • Mandatory alcohol education program: 10 sessions
  • Ignition interlock device (IID): Required for 6 months to 1 year

When Is a DUI a Felony in Connecticut?

However, there are two situations where a DUI in Connecticut can become a felony:

  1. Second DUI offense within 10 years: If you are convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction, the charge automatically becomes a felony. This is known as a second-degree assault with a motor vehicle. The penalties for a felony DUI are much harsher than for a misdemeanor, and can include:

    • Jail time: Up to 5 years (mandatory 120 days)
    • Fines: Up to $5,000
    • License suspension: 4 years (permanent for a third offense)
    • IID: Required for 3 years
    • Probation: Including community service
  2. DUI causing injury or death: Even if it is your first DUI offense, if you cause physical injury or death to another person while driving under the influence, the charge will be elevated to a felony. The specific charges and penalties will depend on the severity of the injuries or death, but they can be even more serious than those for a second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.

Here are some additional factors that can affect the severity of a DUI charge in Connecticut:

  • Blood alcohol content (BAC): A higher BAC level can lead to harsher penalties.
  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test: Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test is a separate offense that can result in additional penalties, including an automatic license suspension.
  • Prior criminal record: Having a prior criminal record, especially for DUI offenses, can also lead to harsher penalties.

If you are facing DUI charges in Connecticut, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can advise you of your rights, help you understand the charges against you, and work to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Remember, driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, please seek help. There are many resources available to help people overcome addiction and live healthy lives.

Here are some helpful resources:

If you are facing DUI Charges in Connecticut. contact Connecticut DUI Lawyer Chris Llinas at Tel: 860-530-1781 for immediate help.

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