Windham County DUI/OUI Defense Attorney
Connecticut DUI Laws, Defending Clients Throughout Willimantic & Throughout Eastern
At the Law Office of Jerome Paun, we can help you fight your license suspension in front of the DMV and in criminal court. We'll put our legal experience to work defending your freedom. From our law office in Willimantic, we represent clients throughout Eastern Connecticut.
A Connecticut arrest for OUI involves two separate but related proceedings:
- An administrative per se license suspension hearing at the DMV to determine whether your driver's license or privilege to drive in Connecticut should be suspended by the DMV.
- A criminal proceeding in superior court to determine if you are guilty of operating under the influence (OUI) and, if you are, the penalties to be imposed by the court, including a suspension of your driver's license or right to drive in Connecticut.
Our Windham County DUI attorneys have the experience needed to properly advise and represent you in both proceedings. Requesting a DMV per se license suspension hearing may enable us to use the DMV process to learn facts that can be helpful in the criminal court proceeding. If you retain our services soon after your arrest, we can intervene early to ensure you meet all filing and notification deadlines regarding your right to an administrative per se license suspension hearing.
Please call The Law Office of Jerome Paun at (860) 455-4202 for an appointment to discuss what you should do.
What’s the Difference Between DUI and OUI?
There’s a big difference between driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI) in Connecticut.
Driving a motor vehicle is what many of us know and love. We drive down the road steering the vehicle, stepping on the gas to make it go, applying the brakes to make it stop, and shifting gears as needed with a manual transmission vehicle.
Operating a motor vehicle includes driving but goes way beyond it. If you are sitting or even sleeping in a motor vehicle with the key in the ignition, even if the engine is off, the car is in park, and the parking brake is set, you can still be arrested for OUI in Connecticut!
The moral of this story is, if you have had too much to drink or are under the influence of any legal or illegal drugs, and want to just sit or sleep in your motor vehicle in Connecticut, be absolutely certain your vehicle is safely parked with the engine off and the key out of the ignition!
Should You Challenge the DMV Per Se Suspension of Your Driver's License?
Unless you successfully challenge the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) per se license suspension, your driver’s license or privilege to drive in Connecticut will be suspended for 45 days.
After an OUI arrest, you should receive a letter from the DMV informing you that your Connecticut driver’s license or privilege to drive in Connecticut will be suspended for 45 days beginning at midnight on the 30th day after your arrest. It will also inform you that after your 45-day suspension, you will need to have installed (at your own expense) an approved ignition interlock device (IID) for a period of time. This DMV imposed license suspension and IID installation is separate from any license suspension and IID installation ordered by a court if you plead guilty to or are convicted of DUI after a trial.
The DMV letter will also tell you that you have a right to appeal this suspension by calling the phone number in the letter and requesting a hearing. Whether you have a decent chance of winning a DMV per se license suspension hearing usually turns on technical issues that can be discovered by a careful review of the evidence.
The police may have taken your driver’s license when you were arrested. If they did, you can have your driver’s license returned to you the next day, 24 hours after it was taken. This is not a license suspension. But it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without your driver’s license. So, before you drive, get your driver’s license back from the police.
The Pretrial Alcohol Education Program: Your Charges Could Be Dismissed
If you have no prior OUI convictions in Connecticut or elsewhere, and you haven't used the pretrial Alcohol Education Program (AEP) in Connecticut or a similar program in another state within the past 10 years, you may be eligible to use it to avoid an OUI conviction. If the court grants your AEP application and if you successfully complete its requirements, the OUI charge against you will be dismissed and you will not have an OUI conviction record. We can help you maximize your chances of getting approved for the AEP and avoiding an OUI conviction.
The Law Office of Jerome Paun Drunk Driving Legal Counsel
- Schedule an appointment for a free confidential consultation: If you have been arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, we can help you. If you contact us, we will schedule a free confidential appointment for you. At that initial consultation, Attorney Paun will explain the criminal/motor vehicle charges confronting you in plain English so you will understand them. He will carefully listen to your version of what happened. He will explain and discuss with you your constitutional, statutory, and procedural rights in court and before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administrative per se license suspension hearing.
- Explore your legal options: Attorney Paun will explain your legal defense options from the potential to get a diversionary program granted to avoid a conviction to going to trial, and everything in between. He will explore whether you might qualify for the pretrial Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a diversionary program that if granted by a judge and successfully completed by you results in the dismissal of the impaired driving charges.
- Review the evidence with you: If you retain The Law Office of Jerome Paun to represent you, we will secure copies of the evidence against you from the state, referred to as disclosure material. That includes a copy of the police report of your arrest and a copy of the A-44 form, a form completed by the police in all OUI arrests in Connecticut. Other evidence we may need to get from the state includes dash-cam, body-cam, and booking room video recordings.
- Advise you on your best course of action: Once we have gotten all the evidence the state has, we will study it and review it with you so you will be able to make informed decisions about your legal defense options. Where possible, we will challenge questionable evidence from being used against you. We may even be able to get the charges against you dismissed if the evidence the police have was gotten illegally.
What Happens After First DUI in CT?
A first-time DUI/OUI charge in CT includes the following penalties of six months of prison time, a $1,000 fine, license suspension for 45 days, and an ignition interlock device installed for an entire year. In addition, a term of probationary supervision and community services where the fees start to rack up quickly.
Whether you are a program eligible first-time OUI offender or facing a potential second, third, or subsequent OUI conviction, we will provide you with effective OUI defense representation to minimize negative consequences.
Charged with a first-time DUI/OUI offense? For a free consultation with an experienced Windham County drunk driving defense attorney, contact The Law Office of Jerome Paun today.
“Excellent Lawyer says it all!”- Past Client
“Attorney Paun was so helpful, thorough, knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive to all my many, MANY questions about the whole process.”- Rebecca
“Attorney Paun was meticulous and detail-oriented in bringing a complex case to a mutually acceptable outcome.”- Val