Massachusetts OUI Trial
A Massachusetts OUI trial is divided up into several components. Generally, an entire OUI trial can be completed in one day regardless of whether the trial is a bench trial or jury trial. Typically, a bench trial will consume two hours or less of court time.
A OUI trial in Massachusetts has the following components:
- Electing jury or bench trial
- Jury Selection
- Opening Statement
- Commonwealth's Case, officer testifying
- OUI Defense Case
- Closing Statement
If a defendant elects a jury trial on a second or third offense OUI charge, the jury does not know about the number of prior OUI convictions that a defendant has when deciding the case. The jury hears the evidence of the underlying offense and decides whether the motorist operated under the influence of alcohol. If a guilty verdict is returned, there is a separate trial as to how many prior DUI convictions the defendant has on his record. This is important for those charged with a Massachusetts OUI to keep in mind when deciding whether to proceed to trial.
Additionally, at a Massachusetts DUI trial, the jury is not permitted to hear evidence as to whether a defendant refused a breathalyzer test. A jury is not permitted to draw any inference from the refusal to take a breathalyzer test and will not hear any evidence regarding a breathalyzer test if one was not taken. If a defendant takes a breathalyzer and the results are excluded prior to trial from evidence, the jury will also in that case not hear any evidence regarding breathalyzer test results.