Massachusetts First Offense OUI
When charged with a First Offense OUI in Massachusetts, for many it is their first time in court. Typically, a client charged with a first offense is extremely embarrassed, feels pressure to get the case over with from sometimes different sources, from parents, a spouse, family members or from themselves.
- Do not let the urge to just want to get this over with, prevent you from understand the law and defenses to an OUI charge in Massachusetts.
There is no rush to resolve a first offense OUI, the plea offer in almost all cases will be the same right up to the moment of trial. Once you admit to the charge the case is over and the consequences will remain without you having an opportunity to contest the case at trial. It is important to take the time up front to understand the law and how your case can be defended in court before trying to resolve it.
Here are some key points about a Massachusetts First Offense OUI charge:
- First Offense OUI charges are commonly brought to trial in district court
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.
- An OUI charge is difficult to prove in Court
A DUI charge in Massachusetts 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.
- Judges do not typically penalize an individual who elects to go to trial on a First Offense OUI.
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.