Best DUI Defense

Winning drunk driving cases for over 20 years.

Top Drunk Driving Defense

A DUI has serious ramifications. Rhode Island DUI lawyer Michael J. Zarrella will protect your freedom and your license.

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Attorney MIchael Zarrella has a proven record of winning Drunk Driving Cases
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RI Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test Lawyer

Top breathalyzer refusal defense lawyer fighting for you.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test in Rhode Island, you need an accomplished, impassioned, and successful lawyer to defend and guide you through the Rhode Island legal process.  Rhode Island DUI Attorney Michael Zarrella has successfully handled hundreds of DUI cases throughout the state.

A first offense refusal is not criminal in nature, however,  it can have lasting repercussions on a person's life if convicted. Under Rhode Island law, there are many ways to beat a refusal. A good DUI lawyer can find the problems in a breath test refusal case and use that to obtain a dismissal or a very favorable disposition. The lawyer you hire can greatly increase your chance of winning your refusal case or obtaining a more favorable disposition. Attorney Michael Zarrella has been winning DUI and refusal cases for over 20 years. He knows numerous defenses to DUI and refusal cases. Many of Attorney Zarrella’s clients get their DUI or refusal charges dismissed. Other clients never lose the ability to drive to work because Attorney Michael Zarrella is able to obtain a minimum suspension and a hardship license.  Do not hesitate, call Attorney Michael Zarrella now.


Don't lose the ability to drive to work, not even for a day.

Michael Zarrella, being a top DUI lawyer in Rhode Island, knows that there are many ways to prevent his clients from losing their ability to drive to work for even a day.  In recent years, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed laws that allow motorists that are charged with DUI and/or refusal to submit to a chemical test to have what is called a hardship license. This allows a motorist in most cases to have an interlock system installed into their automobiles giving them the ability to drive their cars back and forth to work and school.  This is invaluable to most motorists in that it allows them never to lose their licenses, so their job or school is not at risk. However, there are certain rules that apply to their hardship license.


Rhode Island Penalties for Refusal.

The penalties for a first time refusal in Rhode Island can be harsh.  The minimum license suspension is 6 months and the penalties also include numerous fines, assessments and DUI school or/and alcohol treatment. However, a top DUI lawyer can avoid the 6 months suspension.  Under the Rhode Island Ignition Interlock Law, motorists charged with chemical test refusals may install an ignition interlock which gives the motorist the ability to have his sentence reduced from the mandatory 6 months.

Motorists facing a chemical test refusal charge are looking at the following penalties:

First Offense Refusal in five years (to be heard at Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal)

  • Non criminal/Civil violation;

  • $200.00 - $500.00 fine;

  • 60 to 100 hours community service;

  • Six (6) to twelve (12) months suspension of your license;(interlock option)

  • DUI School or alcohol counseling;

  • SR-22 insurance for three years; and

  • Assessments.

Interlock option: If the court orders the installation of an ignition interlock device, the penalty for suspension of license can be reduced to as short as a 30 day period. In addition, the defendant may be able to receive a hardship license during his suspension to allow him to drive for work purposes. Interlock must remain in automobile after suspension from 6 months to 2 years.


Second Offense in five years Refusal (to be heard in District Court)

  • Misdemeanor conviction;

  • Up to six (6) months imprisonment;

  • $600.00 to $1,000.00 fine;

  • 60 to 100 hours community service;

  • One (1) to two (2) years suspension of your license;(interlock option)

  • SR-22 insurance for three years;

  • Alcohol counseling; and

  • Assessments.

Interlock option: If the court orders the installation of an ignition interlock device, the penalty for suspension of license can be reduced to as short as a 60 day period. No hardship license. Interlock must remain in automobile after suspension for 1 year to 4 years.


Third Offense Refusal in five years (to be heard in District Court)

  • Misdemeanor conviction;

  • Up to one (1) year imprisonment;

  • $800.00 to $1,000.00 fine;

  • 100 hours community service;

  • Two (2) to five (5) years loss of suspension of your license;(interlock option)

  • SR-22 insurance for three years;

  • Alcohol counseling; and

  • Assessments.

Interlock option: If the court orders the installation of an ignition interlock device, the penalty for suspension of license can be reduced to as short as a 90 day period. No hardship license. Interlock must remain in automobile after suspension for 2 years to 10 years.



What is a ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer machine for a vehicle. The device requires a driver to blow into the machine before the motorist can start the vehicle.  The theory behind the device is that a motorist will not be able to start his automobile if he has been drinking alcohol.


Should I take the Breath Test?

You have a right to refuse the breath test in Rhode Island.  A BAC reading greater than 0.08% can jeopardize any chance of beating your DUI case, often people decide to refuse the Breathalyzer Test which in turn increases their chance of winning the DUI criminal trial.

However, your license can be suspended for simply refusing the Breathalyzer Test.  There are defenses to breathalyzer refusals but because the case is civil in matter, it is much more difficult to win a DUI case.  

Taking a chance on a breath test is not always a bad decision, a motorist may pass the test or the motorist lawyer may be successful in having his or her lawyer suppress or discredit the breath results . However, in cases where there is an accident with injury to another, cases where the motorist has a prior DUI, or cases where the motorist can not have a criminal conviction due to work or other reasons, then a refusal may be the better decision.


Refusal cases are more difficult to win then DUI cases but they can be won.

Many of the defenses that work in a DUI case can also work in a refusal case. However a refusal case, being a non-criminal charge, has a lower standard of proof than a DUI charge. In a DUI case the defendant enjoys many constitutional rights, such as the presumption of innocence, the right to a jury trial, and the right to have the State prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt. These rights are not afforded in a refusal case. That being said, there are many defenses that do work in a refusal case. The state still has the burden of proving the case, and much of the evidence such as the stop, the SFST, and the police credentials can still be challenged.

Common refusal defenses.
  • No probable cause for law enforcement stopping the vehicle

  • Unclear or no reading of right for use at the scene

  • Unclear or no reading of right for use at the station

  • Police lacked probable cause to ask the driver to take a chemical test

  • The police did not afford an opportunity for the defendant to call an attorney the time of detention

  • The police did not afford a privacy call with the attorney to keep matters confidential

  • The police failure to advise the defendant of his or her right to independent physical examination

  • There is no sworn affidavit to the refusal.

  • The state can not prove operation

 

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Real Client's review

"Michael Zarella is an amazing lawyer first and foremost!!! I was faced with a refusal/dui and he had the charges dropped!!!

He save me thousands of dollars!!!A few years earlier my wife was face with a refusal. But guess what? The charges were dropped also."

 

Real Client's review

"When I was arrested for DUI accident, everyone told me I was in big trouble. I met Attorney Michael Zarrella, he had all

my charges reduced to lesser charges and my record was completely clean within one year. He is a tremendous attorney. "

 

Real Client's review

"I have been a client of Attorney Michael Zarella for many years he has provided nothing below top notch service from dui

to criminal defense cases. He has had numerous charges dismissed for

my friends family and myself. I highly reccomend Michael to any individual seeking criminal or dui defense. "