Defending Rhode Island clients against criminal prosecution
When you are stopped by a police officer in Rhode Island for suspected drunk driving and asked to take a Breathalyzer test, should you refuse? The natural right to be free from self-incrimination would insist that “yes” you should refuse. But Rhode Island is an “implied consent” state, meaning that one is assumed to have consented to such a test as a condition of receiving a license. Fifth Amendment rights do not prevail here. If you refuse the Breathalyzer test, it will most likely result in the suspension of your license after the refusal arraignment but prior to any hearing of your case. The truth of the matter is that a refusal case is difficult to win. In a refusal case the state has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that : 1) law enforcement making sworn report had reasonable grounds to believe the defendant had been driving a motor vehicle within the state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor/drugs, 2) while under arrest, person refused to submit, 3) person has informed of his or her rights in accordance with 31-27-3 and informed of the penalties.
Rhode Island DUI Breathalyzer Test Failure
What if you take the Breathalyzer test and fail? Under this circumstance you will be charged with criminal DUI. As bad as this may sound, the fact of the matter is that these cases are much, much more difficult for the prosecution to prove. The list of legal requirements, all of which must be established to convict you, is long, complicated and demanding. It is a minefield of potential disaster for a prosecutor to tip-toe through. Absent any one of these strict requirements, and you walk away a free individual. With the right attorney, as you will find from our Rhode Island DUI defense attorney team at The Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy, LLC, the chances of winning your case are much, much higher than if you opted to refuse the test. If you submit to the Breathalyzer test and fail that does not automatically translate into losing your license. That will only occur if you are actually convicted of criminal DUI, and we, as your attorneys, are here to see that you are NOT convicted. You will be able to drive all the while your case is pending.
So, the bottom line is: take the Breathalyzer test. If you pass, congratulations on being a responsible, safe driver. But, if you fail and have been arrested for DUI in Rhode Island, do NOT despair and, above all, do NOT elect to throw yourself upon the nonexistent mercy of the court. You need a defense attorney in your corner who has the inside knowledge and experience required to insure the best possible results. Call The Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy, LLC today at (401) 316-9423 or via email or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.
- The police must have probable cause to request you submit to a chemical test for purposes of a criminal charge
- The police must advise you of your right to have an independent chemical test performed by a physician or hospital of your choosing and afforded a reasonable chance to exercise this right
- The police must observe you for at least 15 minutes prior to you taking the breath test
- A true copy of the breath test results must be mailed to you within 72 hours of the test
- The breath test machine must be in full compliance with the regulations set out by the Department of Health.
- The breath test operator must be certified within 365 days of the test
- Two complete samples must be given within a 30 minute period
- The two samples must be within a .05% agreement of each other
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, you will need a qualified Rhode Island DUI defense attorney who has the skill and experience to achieve the best possible results in your case. Even if you are a first-time offender, the penalties can be quite severe. You can be fined up to $500 and have your license suspended for up to 18 months. You may be sentenced up to one year in jail and be required to pay a $500 assessment fee. You will be required to attend DUI driving school, partake in a drug abuse program, be compelled to acquire expensive SR-22 insurance for the next three years and perform up to 60 hours of public service. A Rhode Island DUI conviction often results in loss of employment, higher long-term insurance rates and a criminal record that will haunt you the rest of your days.
A DUI In Rhode Island Can Be Disasterous
None of these disastrous outcomes need befall you if you retain a Rhode Island DUI defense attorney who has the road map required to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. It is possible to have your alleged offense entirely dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. There are many, many ways to challenge a DUI charge on both substantive and procedural grounds even if you failed the breath test. Evidence can be completely suppressed if there was the smallest deviation from proper procedure. The standards of proof in DUI cases are so strict and the required procedural details so numerous that most any DUI case can be deconstructed to the defendant’s advantage. Not all Rhode Island DUI criminal defense attorneys are cut from the same high-quality cloth and are endowed with the detailed knowledge of how to recognize these deviations and leverage them to defeat your DUI charge. At The Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy, LLC we have over the years dedicated a substantial portion of our practice to DUI defense and know precisely which legal buttons to push on your behalf.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Rhode Island, do NOT despair and, above all, do NOT elect to throw yourself upon the nonexistent mercy of the court. You need a defense attorney in your corner who has the inside knowledge and experience required to insure the best possible results. Call The Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy, LLC today at (401) 316-9423 or via email or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.