Massachusetts OUI (Operating under the influence) Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with OUI you likely know you are facing serious penalties if convicted. Operating Under the influence is also referred to as driving under the influence/DUI or drunk driving. No matter what its called, the penalties are steep if you are convicted. You need an experienced OUI lawyer to help you present the best possible defense and obtain the best outcome. Most people arrested for OUI are normal everyday people. From teachers to truck drivers to construction workers to PTA moms. People that work hard and need their license. They also cannot afford to have a guilty finding and develop a criminal record. I generally advise people not to take the breath test and not to take any field sobriety tests. Be polite and do not talk to police about anything you were doing that night. You will still get arrested, but have a much better case at trial. The breath test can be flawed for many reasons. I have access to great experts if you do take and fail the breath test. So-called failed sobriety tests are also greatly flawed. Some evidence against you may be suppressed if the police violated your constitutional rights or violated certain protocols or procedures.
I have had success for my client’s in OUI cases. I have had client’s receive not guilty’s in jury trials and in bench trials before only a judge. I have won run of your mill OUI cases all the way up to an OUI with accident in which cold beer bottles were found in the car to an OUI 6th offense.
First Offense Penalties
For a first offense, you are facing up to 2 1/2 years in jail, a fine of $500-$5000, and a 1 year license loss, with the possibility for a hardship after 3 months.
There is also the possibility of a 24D alternative disposition. If you are eligible the penalties include fines (including a $500 license reinstatement fee), unsupervised probation for a year, 16 hours of alcohol treatment, and a license loss of 45 or 90 days (not including a license loss for refusing a breath test).
If you are under 21 and convicted of DWI the license loss will be 210 days (not including any penalty for refusing a breath test).
For refusing a breath test you will immediately lose your license for 180 days.
For all OUI cases, the loss of license on a refusal always runs first if you are convicted of OUI. Additionally, the suspension for a refusal must end before you apply for any hardship license.
Second Offense Penalties are even tougher.
Second Offense Penalties
If you have been previously found guilty of OUI (Or had a previous OUI continued without a finding (CWOF), you are facing even tougher penalties.
There is mandatory jail time, and the license loss is 2 years, with the possibility of a hardship after 1 year.
On all second offenses or greater, you will also need an interlock device for 2 years when you get your license back (a device you need to blow into your car in order to drive it). You have to pay for the installation, maintenance, and any repairs of the interlock device.
If you refuse to take a breath test your license will be immediately suspended for 3 years.
Due to Melanie’s law, Massachusetts now has a lifetime lookback period. This means if you have an offense at any point in your lifetime, you will be subject to second offense penalties.However, if it is more than 10 years ago, you may be available for a 24D alternative disposition (referred to as a Cahill disposition).
The alternative disposition on a second offense includes 2 years probation, 14 day inpatient alcohol program (paid by you), interlock device for 2 years, 2 year license loss (hardship available after 12 months), and court fines.
Third Offense Penalties-Felony
Third offense or greater OUI is a felony and you may be indicted in Superior Court and face prison time.
up to 2 1/2 years in jail or 2 1/2 to 5 years in State Prison. There is a minimum mandatory jail/prison sentence of 150 days , Fine $1000-$15000, License loss 8 years (possibility for hardship after 4 years). Refusal to take a breath test is an additional 5 years loss of license.
Fourth Offense OUI Penalties-Felony
2-2 1/2 years in jail or 2 1/2 to 5 years in State Prison. There is a minimum mandatory jail /prison sentence of 1 year, Fine $1500-$25000, License loss 10 years (hardship considered in 5 years). Refusal is a lifetime loss.
Fifth Offense and Above-Felony
2 to 2 1/2 years in jail or 2 1/2 to 5 years in State Prison. There is a minimum mandatory 2 years jail/prison sentence,. Fine $2000-$50,000, License suspended for life, no hardship license.
OUI Causing Seriously Bodily Injury
up to 2 1/2 years in jail or 2 1/2 to 10 years in State Prison. There is a six month minimum mandatory jail/prison sentence and a 2 year loss of license, along with the potential for significant fines.
Manslaughter involves causing the death of another person. If you commit manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, you face a mandatory prison sentence of 5 years. See MGL chapter 265 section 13 regarding Vehicular Manslaughter.