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Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer

Oct, 05 2020 - By: S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.
Questions to ask your DUI lawyer

If you’ve been charged with your first DUI in Rhode Island, it’s common to feel confused and anxious about what will happen next. The best approach is to have a list of questions to ask your DUI lawyer so you feel comfortable with the process and confident moving forward.

Trying to find answers through friends or acquaintances who have also been charged with DUI’s, or by reading countless websites on Google, can lead to more confusion and misinformation. Remember that no two DUI incidents are exactly the same. Speaking directly to a Rhode Island DUI lawyer about your charges is the only way to get the most accurate information. Below are some frequently asked questions to ask your DUI lawyer. 

Common Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer

Am I Going to Jail?

This is one of the most commonly asked DUI questions. Rhode Island takes driving under the influence seriously, and the law does indeed state that first-time DUI offenders can spend up to 1 year in jail. However, this will depend on your specific situation. The majority of drivers charged with a DUI in which no one was injured or no damage was done to property will not result in jail time. 

Will This Conviction Be on My Record? If So, How Long?

A DUI misdemeanor charge will stay on your record for 5 years. A DUI felony charge will stay on your record for 10 years. Remember that if you’re eligible, you may be able to have your charges expunged from your record.

How Many Times Will I Have to Appear in Court?

This is one of the commonly asked DUI questions that can have varying answers. How many times you appear in court will depend on a few different things. First, you’ll have to attend an arraignment hearing at a District Court in which you’ll enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. From there, your DUI attorney will guide you through your options and formulate the best possible path of defense that fits your circumstances. Check out DUI court process for more information on the Rhode Island DUI court process.

What Are the Potential Penalties?

When composing your list of questions to ask your DUI lawyer, it will help to know what your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level was at the time of your arrest. Your penalties are directly linked to your BAC. For instance, if you’re a first-time offender and your BAC was between .08% and 1%, you can possibly face up to 1 year in jail, 10-60 community service hours, $100-$300 fines, and a license suspension of up to 180 days. If your BAC was higher than that, your penalties will be more severe. Check out DUI penalties for all the potential Rhode Island DUI penalties.

How Long Will I Lose My License?

The length of time that your license is suspended will depend on your BAC level at the time of your arrest. A license suspension can range from 30 days to 18 months for first-time DUI offenders.

Can I Drive to Work?

In certain situations, a judge may allow you to drive to work or school with a temporary restricted license. This is one of the many DUI questions that will depend on your circumstances. Check out Hardship License for more information on Hardship Licenses in Rhode Island.

What if I have an out of state license?

If a person is convicted of DUI in Rhode Island, Rhode Island only has the authority to suspend your privilege to drive in R.I., it cannot suspend an out of state license.  However, In the majority of cases, the driver’s home state will be notified of the suspension in R.I. and will grant it reciprocity, meaning the home state will suspend the license for the same amount of time.  The person will then be required to go to 2 different DMVs in order to legally drive again.

Will My Employer Find out About My DUI?

This is a common concern and one of the more important questions to ask your DUI lawyer. The courts do not notify your places of employment about your DUI charge and you’re not required by law to tell your employer about your incident.

How to Choose the Best DUI Lawyer for Your Case

When it comes to choosing the right attorney, there are three important questions to ask your DUI lawyer. First, what’s their experience with these cases? You only want to work with a DUI lawyer who specializes in DUI cases and has multiple years of experience. The longer your DUI attorney has been working these cases, the better. That brings us to the second question, what’s the lawyer’s relationship like with the prosecutor and the judge? The more experience they have, the longer their relationship will be with the prosecutor. Knowing how a prosecutor typically operates in DUI cases can be a tremendous help in your defense. Finally, you’ll want to know the cost of your DUI lawyer, which will again depend on the circumstances of your case.  But in law as in life, you will always get what you paid for.  All RI DUI Lawyers are not the same, not even close.

To get the right answers to these questions and more, contact the best Rhode Island DUI lawyer with the most experience. You don’t have to go through this process alone. Call (401) 861-1155 today for a free consultation!

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