Drinking and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a very serious criminal offense that is completely avoidable in Delaware. Yet, people do it all the time. Why?
Because they overestimate their ability to drive and underestimate the possibility of impairment. Too often we hear, “I thought I was fine to drive.” In actuality, they are over the Delaware legal limit. Know what a DUI is in Delaware and learn about the consequences.
Hiring a defense lawyer does not necessarily mean that you will get off DUI charges in Delaware. It means the prosecutor might not steamroll you though. If you have been charged with a DWI in Delaware, you should hire a lawyer fast.
At the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay in Delaware, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and your options. We will not provide legal advice during this consultation, but we will review the facts of your case and suggest a course of action. For most cases, we will recommend that you hire an experienced attorney such as one of our own Defense Attorneys.
What is a DUI?
Over the age of 21, consuming alcohol is perfectly legal. However, you cannot drive while intoxicated. Legally, you cannot drive if you have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08. That is called Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Although the degree of impairment may vary among individuals with the same blood alcohol content, if a person is over the legal limit, impairment is irrelevant.
While blood alcohol tests assume the individual being tested is average in various ways, people vary so much that it is difficult to predict how alcohol will affect a particular individual. Some of the many variables that impact impairment are the amount of alcohol in a particular drink, medications – including prescription, non-prescription and illegal drugs, gender and body weight.
If you do attempt to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you risk an arrest for Driving Under the Influence. This is a very serious charge, and you will need to pay bail. The police will tow your car, and you may face jail time. If the police pulled you over after drinking, you should call a DWI Defense Attorney straight away.
A DUI is not a traffic ticket in Delaware but a serious offense. A drunk driving charge is a very complicated and expensive ordeal that can change your life. All Driving Under the Influence arrests have very serious legal and administrative consequences including losing your license, paying large fines, or even serving jail time.
Consequences of DUI in Delaware
Given the consequences of a DUI conviction, you should never plead guilty to drunk driving charges without talking to an experienced defense attorney. Get the best DUI Defense attorney in Delaware, call Ron Phillips today.
Consequences of a DWI conviction in Delaware vary. It depends on the severity of the Driving Under the Influence, the number of previous offenses, and the age of the driver. Consequences may include:
- drivers license suspension,
- jail time,
- alcohol education classes,
- high-risk auto insurance
- and job loss for commercial drivers license holders.
In addition to the criminal consequences, there can be an impact on your license through DMV. You must request a separate DMV hearing within 15 days of your arrest that addresses only licensing.
Although there is some potential overlap, a DMV Administrative hearing is completely separate from the criminal charge of a DUI. There are also potential consequences pursuant to Delaware’s implied consent law for a refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Learn more about the consequences of a DUI in Delaware.
- First Offense: 0-6 months prison, $500-$1,500 fine, license suspended 12-24 months.
- Second Offense: 2-18 months prison, $750-$2,500 fine, license suspended 24-30 months.
- Third Offense: 1-2 years prison, $1,500-$5,000 fine, license suspended 24-36 months.
- Fourth Offense: 2-5 years prison, $3,000-$7,000 fine, license suspended 60 months.
- Fifth Offense: 3-5 years prison, $3,500-$10,000 fine, license suspended 60 months, class E felony.
- Sixth Offense: 5-8 years prison, $5,000-$10,000 fine, license suspended 60 months, class D felony.
- Seventh Offense: 10-15 years prison, $10,000-$15,000 fine, license suspended 60 months, class C felony.
The Delaware State News reported that according to the Delaware State Police, 13 percent of all DUI stops statewide between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 19, 2016 involved a driver’s alleged third offense or more. The breakdown of Delaware DUI arrests included:
- Third offense – 256 arrests.
- Fourth offense – 108 arrests.
- Fifth offense – 52 arrests.
- Sixth offense – 17 arrests.
- Seventh offense – 12 arrests
Delaware DUI First-Offender Program
Delaware offers a DUI first-offender program. As your attorney, we can find out if you are eligible for this program, which would enable you to avoid having a drunk driving conviction on your record. If you are ineligible for any reason, we can negotiate with prosecutors to waive the disqualifying event and enroll you in this program to save your license and your livelihood.
Avoiding a criminal DWI conviction is especially important if you have a CDL or need a clean driving record for your job. Call our office in Dover or Georgetown today to learn more about keeping a Driving Under the Influence arrest off of your driving record.
Delaware DUI Defense Attorney
The Law Offices of Murray, Phillips, & Gay offers the best criminal defense in Delaware. If you are looking for a successful defense attorney to represent you in court or to protect your rights following an arrest, don’t settle for anything less than the best.
With offices in Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown, we can represent Delawareans throughout all of Delaware. Meet Ron Phillips, our resident DUI Defense expert.
Defenses in DUI Cases
There are times when you can’t afford a DWI conviction. This is especially true if you have one or more past convictions. As your lawyer, we will look for ways to mitigate penalties and evaluate possible defenses.
Did you know that some “evidence” of your DWI may not be admissible in court?
Police must have a reason to stop you. Once they stop you, they must have a reason to believe you are intoxicated before they can give you a Breathalyzer test.
Never admit to driving under the influence without a lawyer present. Get the best DUI defense in Delaware. Learn what to do when you are pulled over after drinking and driving in Delaware. Learn more about DUI Defense in Delaware.
We can dismiss Field sobriety tests in court. When driving a vehicle in Delaware, you automatically consent to a field sobriety test under Implied Consent. Therefore, you do not have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. However, your field sobriety test may not be sufficient evidence in court.
If the police gave you a field sobriety before arresting you for Driving Under the Influence, call a DWI Defense Attorney. Without a skilled DWI Defense Attorney, your field sobriety test can be used as evidence against you in court.
A breathalyzer test may not be admissible either. Like field sobriety tests, you automatically consent to a breathalyzer test under Implied Consent. However, depending on the circumstances, your BAC test may not be admissible in court either.
Trust only the best DUI lawyers in Delaware to defend your case and prevent a DWI on your record. Call Murray, Phillips, & Gay today to represent your DUI Defense.
Your DUI DMV Hearing
After a drunk driving arrest in Delaware, you face an administration drivers license suspension hearing. This hearing is separate from your criminal Driving Under the Influence case and only concerns your driving privileges. As your lawyer, we can cross-examine the arresting officer and search for defenses in your criminal case.
Free DUI Defense Attorney Consultation
If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence, The attorneys at the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay, Julianne E. Murray and Ronald D. Phillips, Jr. would like to meet with you in person to discuss your case. To schedule a free initial consultation at the Sussex County office, please call 302-855-9300, the Kent or New Castle County offices at 302-697-2499 or fill out the contact form on this site.