Court Process when charged with a Massachusetts OUI
What is the process when you are charged with OUI in Massachusetts for how your case will be handled in Court. An OUI charge is a misdemeanor offense that is hear in district court. There is a process for moving an OUI charge through the court system and it involves the following court events:
Arraignment Date : When you are charged with operating under the influence in Massachusetts, sometimes referred to as OUI/DUI or DWI, you will be given a court date for an arraignment. The arraignment is when you are formally advised of the charges against you and the court determines whether to release you on your promise to return to court on the pretrial date, or whether to set cash bail or to impose conditions of release.
Bail is generally not required for a first or second OUI : If you have little or no record and are charged with a 1st or 2nd offense OUI, you will generally be released without having to post cash bail on your promise to appear in court.
Next Court date after arraignment, pre-trial conference : After the arraignment, your next court date is not a trial date, but a pretrial conference. The pretrial conference will be scheduled within 4 to 6 weeks of the arraignment date. The pretrial conference is to ensure that you have all the information about your case; it is an opportunity to obtain additional information from the prosecutor and discuss possible resolution of the case. There may be more than one pretrial conference; in some cases, two or three pretrial hearings may be required as a result of the delays from the district attorney's office in providing information.
- Following a pretrial hearing, the next two types of court dates include motion hearings and the trial date.
Motions in Massachusetts DUI cases : One possible motion is a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the stop being in violation of your Constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment and Article 14 of the Massachusetts State Constitution. The basis of this motion is that the officer did not have a legal basis to stop your vehicle under the Constitution. If this motion is successful, the case will get dismissed. Even if it is unsuccessful, the motion generally reveals valuable discovery as it provides a preview of the officer's testimony.
A second type of motion is a motion to suppress statements obtained in violation of your Miranda Rights. This motion generally will not result in the dismissal of the case, but often strengths your defense if successful by precluding the Commonwealth from being able to offer into evidence statements either during the field sobriety tests or at booking that will help the Government's case.
Massachusetts OUI Trial : After the pretrial stage, the next step is to set a trial date. In an OUI/DUI trial, the trial typically takes only one day and is before either a judge or a jury. Depending on the facts of the case and the judge, sometimes a bench trial offers an OUI defendant a better opportunity to obtain an acquittal. Only after careful evaluation of all the evidence can this important decision be made as to whether to proceed with a trial before a jury or judge.
If you were arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, call Attorney DelSignore to set up an immediate appointment. Attorney DelSignore will begin preparing your case and can represent you on your Massachusetts OUI charge even if your court date is the next date or within a few days. Attorney DelSignore understands the anxiousness, fear and anxiety that your DUI charge has caused and will speak to you immediately at a free consultation. After speaking to Attorney DelSignore, you will understand the court process and can learn more by downloading his free book on Massachusetts drunk driving laws. Call 508-455-4755 or 781-686-5924 if you would like to ask questions about your case.
- United States Supreme Court hears oral argument in Salinas v. Texas: Is silence prior to arrest admissible into evidence under the 5th Amendment
- United States Supreme Court decides Missouri v. McNeely finding that the natural dissipation of alcohol in a DUI arrest does not justify a warrantless blood draw under the Fourth Amendment
- Salinas v. Texas will decide whether pre-arrest silence invokes the Fifth Amendment and should be excluded from evidence