Do I need to bring any money for my first court date when charged with OUI?


It is very common for individuals charged with drunk driving in Massachusetts to wonder if they have to pay any money at the first court date.

The answer is no.

The court does not assess any costs.

There are only three occasions that you will owe the Court money:

  1. If you elect to have a court appointed lawyer;
  2. If you resolve the case you will be assigned a host of different fees, including:
    • probation supervision fee
    • fines
    • victim witness fee
    • fee to get into the 24D program
  3. If the court imposes a bail as a condition of release

The first court date is the arraignment, so you should enter a not guilty plea. Since the case is not being resolved, there will be no cost assessed by the court. If you have a history of not appearing for court, or face a third or 4th OUI, the court may impose a cash bail which would require you to pay money to ensure your release. This money that is posted as Bail is then refunded when the case is resolved as long as you appear for each of the court dates. The Bail money would be refunded even if the case is resolved with a conviction; some courts may apply the Bail money to any court fees if the Bail is in your name.

However, if you face a first or second OUI offense, you will not have to pay money at the arraignment, it is only if the case is resolved with a plea or if there is a conviction does money get assessed. Even under those circumstances, the court would set up a payment plan.

Other than when Bail is imposed, you do not have to pay any money on your first court date to the Court. Many believe that by being charged with a criminal offense there will be costs assigned; however, these fees are only imposed in the event of a plea or conviction after trial.

Should you have any questions about your initial Court date, you may contact Attorney DelSignore at 781-686-5924 or use the contact forms on this website.