Massachusetts First Offense OUI
If you are charged with a first offense Massachusetts OUI, you are being charged with one of the most common misdemeanor offenses in the district court and the charge that is most frequently brought before a judge or jury for trial. A DUI charge is difficult for the Commonwealth to prove because often the evidence is based on unreliable field sobriety tests, performed under unfair, difficult conditions that are judged by the very same officer administering the tests. Since the offense is based on opinion, it can be difficult for the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The Commonwealth’s burden of proof on a first offense, like a second, third or fourth offense, is to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which means to a near moral certitude under Massachusetts law.
A first offense is the most common district court trial because in most cases a motorist receives essentially the same disposition after trial as would be imposed as part of a plea deal. Typically, there is little risk to taking a First Offense OUI to trial. It is important to hire an experienced Massachusetts DUI lawyer as the court, judge and aggravating circumstances of the case could change that assessment. However, generally dispositions after trial, imposed by the judge at sentencing, are similar to those offered prior to trial.
The reasons a motorist should carefully consider whether to seek a trial in a first offense, is that the consequences of an OUI conviction are particularly severe.
A first offense conviction will result in increased insurance costs, having to comply with probation, complete an alcohol education program known as the 24D program, and result in potentially greater consequences for a subsequent or second offense. Accordingly, it is important to carefully consider whether the Commonwealth can prove the OUI charge against you.
Attorney DelSignore has represented numerous individuals charged with a Massachusetts 1st Offense OUI/DUI, will take the time to explain the license implications, consequences for subsequent offenses and will completely review your case to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case and to assist you in deciding how to proceed in court.