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What happens to some one who becomes a first offender? This is in regards to two DUI arrests with in a year.

Bristol, CT |

I did all the work the court to told me do for the 1st DUI. Then I got my second DUI . According to my attorney I will eventually have to become a 1st offender. So what technically is a first offender? What penalties does a first offender face? Will I be put on probation? Can a first offender get a job? Is a first offender same as a felon and/or convict? Can a first offender be pardoned after a certain about of time? There was no accident in either of the arrests and I would also bring to your attention that during my second arrest Miranda rights were not read to me, Will this help in court? My BAC was 0.11. Can this be changed to reckless driving? & is an IDD device an option. Does one have to qualify for it , I desperately need it for Job Interviews & might move if i get out of CT.

I have a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering? How negatively will my job prospects be affected once I tell my employer and or Interviewer that I have been arrested twice for DUI and that too when I was celebrating my academic achievements. Is it true that hiring companies are least bothered about misdemeanors and are more concerned with Felonies. Lets suppose I do become labeled as a first offender in Regards to DUI. Then will I be able to get a job ? What category is a First offender or how serious is it to become a first offender . What might exactly happen to a first offender .. In your answers please explain elaborately all the above questions. Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


Assuming you already used the program (which avoids a conviction), you are facing a first-time conviction. DUI is a criminal charge and even a first conviction will lead to a criminal record. There is also the possibility of jail time. I'll address the Miranda question because there is a popular misconception about it. If Miranda rights are not read to a defendant, that only precludes subsequent statements from being admitted at trial. A violation does not negate an arrest. Since you already have an attorney, which was a wise decision, you should direct the rest of your questions to him or her because they depend very much on the facts of your case.

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So even if I am facing a first time conviction and the fact that it will lead to a criminal record , can this conviction be pardoned later on ??? and can you please answer my question regarding the first offender and the other questions as well ??? Thank you

Christopher Thomas DeMatteo

Christopher Thomas DeMatteo


Yes. One can apply for a pardon three years after the last misdemeanor and five years after the last felony. Pardons, which are granted by the Board of Pardons and Paroles, are discretionary. That won't help you with your pending cases. You ask a lot of good questions. My advice is to call your lawyer tomorrow and direct them to him or her.


You should speak to your current attorney about the possible penalties. Nevertheless, I agree with prior counsel, there is a program available for first time offenders but the program can only be used once (I also agree with him on the Miranda rights question). You do not indicate how long ago you had the 1st DUI, but it sounds like you successfully completed a program to be treated as a first time offender,

In any event, your attorney should have explained the mandatory minimum penalties. For a 1st time offender, the mandatory penalties are:
1. A fine of at least $500 (usually court costs and fees are added);
2. Incarceration of not more than 6 months, 48 hours of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner unless the judge accepts a a program of at least 100 hrs of community service (the judge usually grants this if the program is reasonable and there were no injuries in an accident); and
3. A suspension of your driving privileges for 45 days and, as a condition for restoration, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each car owned or operated by you and have it on the car(s) for 1 year.

As for the incarceration, a suspended sentence means you do not have to go to jail, but it is hanging over your head if you violate any probation.

The other very important thing to keep in mind, if you are caught driving while under suspension or in violation of any restriction, the penalties are severe: a fine of at least $500 but there is also a 30 day mandatory period of incarceration. The moral of that story is DON'T drive while your license is suspended.

It is likely you will have a period of probation to make sure you comply with any conditions the judge orders.

As for the job question, it probably depends on what job. If you need a driver's license for the job, yes, it will probably have an impact. For many other jobs, so long as you can get to work without driving, then it is up to the employer.

Brian S. Karpe, Esq. (860) 242-2221 Note: This response DOES NOT constitute legal advice and therefore no specific action should be taken in reliance thereon. No attorney-client relationship is created through this response. You should speak to an licensed attorney in your state who is competent to answer your question before taking any action with regard to this question.

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If you've already paid an attorney to represent you on this offense, and I assume your attorney knows MUCH more about your situation than any of us could, why aren't you directing these detailed questions to him/her? If your attorney isn't responding to you, then that's a different issue.

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