It is important that you consult with an experienced drunk driving defense attorney because your freedom is on the line.
The Prosecutors and the Judges are under much scrutiny when it comes to felony level OUIs. You need an attorney that knows what they are doing and are able to help you decide on the best course of action for your case so that you do not end up in prison. There are court treatment options that may offer you a chance to keep the felony conviction off your record and also stay out of prison.
The new law (effective July 1, 2019) also lowers the threshold for a habitual OUI (Felony) arrest and charge from three or more OUI convictions in the prior 10 years to two or more convictions in the past 10 years. This is significant as it raises the penalties for a third OUI from 10 to 30 days jail to a possible five-year prison term or five years probation and a fine of between $2,000 to $5,000. In addition, any vehicle owned and operated by the person committing the crime may be subject to forfeiture.
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Frequently Asked Questions about DUI / OUI charges in Hawaii:
Q: What is “blood alcohol level”?
Your “blood alcohol level” is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your system. Most States have a limit of .08 but many are pushing to lower the limit to .05. Getting your “blood alcohol level” into evidence at trial can be very hard for the Prosecutors. That’s why it is important to have an experienced DUI lawyer.
Q: Can I refuse a Breathalyzer test?
Yes you can. In Hawaii if you refuse a breath or blood test to determine your alcohol level you can be subjected to an additional license revocation period. You should contact a criminal defense attorney before making the choice to either take or refuse a test so you fully understand your rights.
Q: Are breath test results always accurate?
No. There are many things that can affect the results of a breath test. Consult with a local Maui DUI lawyer to discuss possible defenses.
Q: How can I get to work if I can’t drive?
If you had a valid license when you were arrested for DUI / OUI, then you can install an ignition interlock device in your car and apply for a permit from the ADLRO to keep driving. There is no limit to where or when you can drive with your ADLRO Permit as long as you are driving a car with an ignition interlock device.
Q: What if I lose my license but continue to drive?
If your license is revoked and you continue to drive WITHOUT AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE AND A VALID PERMIT you risk being cited under Hawaii Revised Statutes Sec 291E-62. The penalties under this statute range from a mandatory 3 days in jail for a first offense to a mandatory 1 year in jail for a third or more offense. If you are cited for this offense it is very important you consult with a criminal defense attorney.
Q: What is the punishment for drunk driving?
The punishment for drunk driving can range from a fine for your first DUI offense to prison sentence for your third or more offense in 10 years. Many factors will impact your sentence. You should consult with a Maui DUI lawyer before you get to the point of being sentenced.
Q: What does ADLRO stand for?
Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office
Q: If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?
For many people being arrested for OUI / DUI is the first time they have been in trouble with the law. It is a very scary and confusing situation that most people need help navigating. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can help alleviate many of the anxieties related to being arrested. Even if you intend to plead guilty it is always better to have someone review your case and also be able to help you apply for your ADLRO permit.
Q: Can I choose which chemical test I take?
Yes you can. When you are rested you are able to choose if you would like to take a Breath or Blood test or refuse all testing for an alcohol related offense or a blood or urine test for drug related offenses.
Q: The officer issued me a notice of suspension and took my license after my breath test. Aren’t I assumed innocent first?
You are presumed innocent of the criminal charge of OUI but the license revocation are not criminal proceedings they are civil. Since it is a civil proceeding you do not have the same due process rights as you do in a criminal proceeding. This means the ADLRO can take away your privilege to drive and then you request a hearing. It is the opposite of the criminal proceedings where you are presumed innocent and a sentence is imposed only after you are adjudged guilty.
Q: I am looking for an experienced DUI attorney. How do I find one?
The best way to find an attorney is to meet with them in person (or via video conference) and see if you feel comfortable working with them. This is someone that you are going to be working closely with and you will need to feel confident that they have your back. If you are looking for an experienced criminal defense attorney you can call our office to schedule a free consult.
Q: What will retaining a DUI attorney cost me?
The retainer for each attorney is different, as it is very fact specific. But typically the cost for a Maui DUI lawyer is in-between $4,000-$5,000.
Q: I still have questions about my DUI case. Where can I get more help?
You can call our office to schedule a free consult with an experienced drunk driving defense attorney.