What To Do After Your DUI Arrest?

What are the steps you need to take immediately after being arrested for OUI in Massachusetts?

This page outlines the three things you should do right away:

  1. Understand the license consequences:
  2. Hire a Massachusetts OUI lawyer.
  3. Take steps to preserve any video evidence that may not be available if immediate action is not taken.
1. Understand the License Consequences

License consequences are generally based on:

  • Offense level
  • Whether or not you refused the breathalyzer test.

If you refused a breathalyzer test and your license is suspended, the amount of time depends on the number of prior OUI convictions you have in your lifetime. It is important to understand this as you only have 15 days to appeal a breathalyzer refusal suspension.

If you failed a breathalyzer test, you are eligible to have you license reinstated within 30 days of the arrest as long as you pay the reinstatement fee of $ 500.00 at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

2. Hire a Massachusetts OUI Lawyer

Understand that an OUI charge is difficult to prove: Nationwide, more than 1 in 4 drunk driving defendants are NOT convicted.

OUI trials occur everyday in the Massachusetts district courts. Many result in not guilty verdicts as the charge is a unique criminal offense. It is a crime based on the opinion of the arresting officer that you had too much to drink. In most cases, there are numerous ways to challenge the reliability of this opin- io2n and methods to undermine this opinion to achieve a not guilty verdict at trial. The standard a police officer must satisfy to arrest a motorist is substantially lower than the standard required for a conviction at trial.

What are my defenses?

Your police report is usually given to you on the arraignment date. I can review your police report so we can discuss your defenses and what additional evidence we need to prepare your defense. The police report will contain most of the evidence that the Commonwealth has against you in the case.

What will happen in court?

A Massachusetts OUI arrest will go through the court process in the following manner:

  1. Arraignment
  2. Pretrial Conferences
  3. A motion date
  4. A trial date.

While it is possible to bring the case quickly to trial, the Commonwealth can take time gathering the evidence and to have motions heard by the courts.

How long will my case take to reach a conclusion?

If there is going to be a plea agreement, this can happen early in the process. However, if a case is going to trial, a trial date depends on the court that your case is heard in. When a case is scheduled for trial, it is scheduled for trial along with many other cases and the court moves through the list to deter- mine which cases are ready and prioritizes the cases based on relative importance.

3. Preserve any Video Evidence

In most cases, video evidence of the arrest and booking process will assist in your defense. Many police departments in Massachusetts use cruiser camera and booking videos. This video footage can show:

  • How you did on the field tests, as most defendants appear to do better than how the officer describes in the police report on video;
  • What the officer said to you;
  • The environment and the difficult conditions under which the tests are performed.

With video evidence, it is especially important for you to hire an OUI lawyer immediately to make a mo- tion to preserve this evidence. While some police departments will save these videos, they are under no obligation to do so if not under a court order.

Want to learn more?

Hiring a Massachusetts OUI Attorney is an important step to making sure you understand how Massachusetts drunk driving law operates, so you can protect your right and have the piece of mind that you are on the correct path to defending yourself against this charge.

You can take either one of two steps to being learning the best path to defending your case:

  1. Download my Free Book Understanding Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws.
  2. Simply Call me on my cell phone at 781-686-5924.
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