Massachusetts DUI Appeals

What to do if you are convicted of OUI in Massachusetts, can you appeal?

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Massachusetts, you have the option of filing a notice of appeal. An appeal in Massachusetts OUI case is like an appeal in any other criminal case. When an individual pursues an appeal, the issue on appeal is whether there was an error of the law such that you should be provided a remedy, such as a new trial or potentially a reversal of your conviction if there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Common issues in Massachusetts OUI appeals would include:

  • whether the trial judge committed error in admitting breathalyzer evidence;
  • whether the prosecutor made improper arguments in closing statement;
  • and whether a judge erred in denying a motion to suppress, based on motor vehicle stop or a motion to exclude statements from evidence.

You only have thirty days to file a notice of appeal with the district court. After the thirty day notice, you can still file an appeal however you will need permission from the trial judge to pursue an appeal after thirty days. Once sixty days has expired then in order to pursue an appeal you must file a special petition to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, pay a $300 filing fee, and request that the court extend the time in which you have to file your notice of appeal. After one year from the date of conviction, you are probably not going to be able to pursue an appeal without there being some extraordinary reason to justify the failure to file an appeal. The courts have held that after one year from the date of conviction there is no jurisdiction to extend the time to file a notice of appeal.

Procedure for Appealing DUI conviction: The court process involves obtaining the transcripts from the trial so that a Massachusetts OIU lawyer can review the trial record and determine what errors occurred. Once it is determined that there were errors, then a brief must be submitted to the Massachusetts Appeals Court outlining the reasons the judge erred in affirming the conviction and articulating the reasons why the court should reverse the conviction or order a new trial. In some cases, the court will then schedule the case for oral argument before a three judge panel. This three judge panel or as the Massachusetts Appeals Court sits in Boston and will hear argument for thirty minutes, allotting fifteen minutes to each side to present the issues for appeal.

If you have any questions about whether you can appeal your conviction for OUI in Massachusetts, you can call Attorney Delsignore to discuss your case. You can reach Attorney Delsignore at 781-686-5924.