Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.Schedule a Free Consultation
Per the CDC, about one million people in the US are arrested for DUI each year. If you’re one of them, the freedoms you enjoy can change in the blink of an eye. This is even more true if you’re facing a felony DUI in Rhode Island.
As one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and top-rated Rhode Island DUI lawyers, S. Joshua Macktaz has successfully defended thousands of DUI cases in RI—including felony cases.
All in all, it’s not as though you were planning to commit a DUI. So it’s no surprise if you aren’t familiar with the potential penalties or, more importantly, your options for putting these charges behind you. That’s precisely why you need an aggressive, skilled, and accomplished Rhode Island DUI lawyer to defend you.
A felony DUI in Rhode Island is any of the following scenarios:
Rhode Island General Laws define a felony as a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for longer than one year, or by a fine above $1,000. Because these five scenarios above can be punished by longer than one year in prison, they qualify as felonies.
So, is a DUI a felony? Not always– only if the above conditions are met. All other DUI charges in Rhode Island are classified as misdemeanors.
Per R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-27-2, the penalties for a felony DUI in Rhode Island depend on the nature of the charge as follows.
As you can see, Rhode Island felony DUI consequences can be quite serious– not to mention non-legal penalties such as difficulties performing your job duties and impacts to your personal relationships.
If you’re facing these charges, the question at the top of your mind is likely, “What is the jail time for felony DUI?” As you can see above, the jail time for felony DUI in Rhode Island ranges from one year up to 15 years, depending on the specific details of your case.
Yes, you may be able to get a hardship license after a felony DUI in Rhode Island, depending on the details of your case.
You see, it’s true that as of 2015, hardship licenses can be granted in Rhode Island. But you must be facing your first drunk driving offense in order to be eligible. And in many cases, a felony DUI in Rhode Island is the result of being charged with a third DUI.
So, if the reason you were charged with felony DUI is because it’s not your first offense, you’re not able to obtain a hardship license.
Other details—such as whether anyone was injured during your DUI or if you had a minor in the vehicle—can also impact your eligibility.
Yes, out-of-state DUI convictions can be counted as priors in Rhode Island. But whether yours can be used to upgrade your DUI charges depends on several factors.
First, you have to understand the Driver License Compact (DLC). Every state in this group is required to share information about your driving record with other states. But this requirement also has what’s called a “lookback period,” which sets a time limit on whether your past DUI convictions can be considered.
Rhode Island’s lookback period is five years. So, if your previous DUI was more than five years ago, your felony DUI in Rhode Island will be considered a first offense. But if it was less than five years ago, this charge will be considered a subsequent offense.
With this knowledge, you might be questioning just how severe your current charges are, or wondering, “Is 2nd DUI a felony?” Know that in Rhode Island, your 2nd DUI is typically a misdemeanor– but certain circumstances can bump it up to a felony, such as if a minor under the age of 13 was a passenger in the vehicle at that time.
Yes, under R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-1.3-2, a felony DUI conviction can be expunged in Rhode Island. But you have to meet specific criteria before you’re eligible:
If you meet these conditions, you may be eligible to apply for expungement in Rhode Island. But you should also know that Rhode Island handles each Motion to Expunge on a case-by-case basis. There’s no step-by-step guide you can follow to guarantee success.
So, the short answer to, “Can felony DUI be expunged?” is hypothetically yes– as long as you meet the conditions set forth by Rhode Island law, and the state approves your Motion to Expunge.
Working with a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney can make your DUI expungement process much simpler and smoother.
As a former state prosecutor, S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq., has unique experience on the “other side” of the justice system. He applies this knowledge to help clients like you move on from past mistakes and wipe the slate clean.
He’s also committed to making sure you understand all the details related to your charges. Whether you have questions about felony DUI law in RI, the difference between misdemeanor and felony DUI, or anything else related to felony DUI in Rhode Island, he’ll take the time to make sure you’re both on the same page– you’ll never be left in the dark.
A felony DUI charge in Rhode Island can cause ripples across your entire life for years to come. Things you never thought twice about before—like driving around town for errands or taking a job that involves driving—are suddenly huge hurdles.
S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq., with 30 years of experience and thousands of successful case outcomes, is the skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorney you’ve been searching for. In fact, judges, lawyers, and police officers often refer their family and friends to him because he has this proven track record.
More importantly, S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. will always be the one directly overseeing everything for your felony DUI in Rhode Island. This includes everything from reviewing every detail to standing by your side at each court appearance.
And he’s available 24/7 because he understands DUIs don’t only happen during business hours.
The sooner you book your free consultation, the sooner you can start working towards an expungement or dismissal—which is always the goal when you work with S. Joshua Macktaz.
If you or a loved one are facing a felony DUI in Rhode Island, call (401) 861-1155 now—don’t leave your freedom up to chance.