What Are The Different Plea Options For A DWI Case?

For a first time DWI in Connecticut you’re eligible for what’s called the Alcohol Education Program, and that is a 1 year program. During the year you have to do either 10 or 15 classes spread out over the year. They’re alcohol classes teaching you about rights and responsibilities, and you’ll have to pay the fees that go along with doing the program, which can be quite steep. Then most courts now are requiring you on top of the program to do 1 victim impact panel with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and that’s usually a cost to you as well.

If you do that, you do the classes for the program, you pay the fees, you do the victim impact panel then you’re entitled to a dismissal at the end of the program time, which is usually a year long. That’s for people who picked up their first DWI. The judge can decide whether or not to grant them the program or to not. Normally a run of the mill DWI will get it.

The people that don’t get the program is if the DWI involved personal or property damage and it was something that was a little bit more serious than just your average DWI. A high blood alcohol level could certainly do it. Having minors in the car certainly could do it because then you’re also subject to risk of injury charges too if you’re driving drunk with minors in the car, then you’re putting their life and liberty at risk too.

Is A Not Guilty Plea Standard For A DWI Case In Connecticut?

It’s a standard across the board thing. That’s why the general public goes bananas when they see on the court that the worst people in the world, the worst murderers in the world, the worst sexual assault people in the world, they see that they entered not guilty pleas in court. That’s the lawyer doing that. It’s basically just performance. It’s part of the process. It moves the case along. It protects the person’s right it doesn’t necessarily mean that at some point they’re not going to enter a guilty plea to something. It’s just something that lawyers and we encourage people and they represent themselves to do usually within the first couple of court appearances.

What is The Potential Timeframe of Resolution for a DWI Case in Connecticut?

If you’re using the program, you’re looking at a year, because you’re going to be in the program for a year unless you finish it sooner which certainly does happen. Some programs are accelerated and you can be done sooner. Sometimes programs will allow you to do more classes to do them in a quicker pace and you can get it done earlier, but let’s just say for purposes of this interview a program, first DWI is going to take you a year to resolve.

In other cases involving people that are not eligible for the program, the people that are going to have to enter guilty pleas, I would say within 6 months to a year. The average lifespan for a criminal case that isn’t of a very, very serious nature I think is about 6 months to a year.

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