If you have been charged with OUI or a related offense, you should make sure to understand your rights and assert them to the fullest extent of the law. Massachusetts OUI attorney Michael DelSignore regularly represents defendants in the Boston area and elsewhere in the state. He can advise you on your options and develop a strategy for your particular situation.
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When you face an OUI charge in Massachusetts, there are three things you need to understand immediately:
- What is the consequences to your license of taking or failing the breath test?
- What evidence needs to obtained right away or may no longer be available?
- Do you want to fight the charge or try to resolve it and what are the license implications of both options?
This website has broken down every offense level in as much detail as you need to understand your options. The website also has videos on almost all topics. This page is intended to be an overview with links to click on to take you to pages that give you more detail about, each offense level.
First Offense: If you are over 21 and refuse the breath test it is a 180-day suspension and a 30-day suspension if you take it and are over .08. You can challenge the breath test refusal suspension.
We discuss that here; the method for challenging a breath test refusal is the same regardless of offense level.
Second Offense: It is important to understand the consequences of a second-offense DUI because a second offense brings with it a three-year license loss if you refuse the breath test.
Third Offense: The penalty for refusing a breath test on a third offense is a five-year license loss.
Fourth Offense: Lifetime loss for refusal
CDL License Holders: A refusal with one prior OUI results in a lifetime loss of the CDL; a refusal or conviction of the OUI results in a one-year license loss.What Must Be Done Right Away After Your Arrest?
When you are arrested for OUI, there are a few things you must understand immediately.
If it is your third offense of higher, expect that a bail would be required and for fourth offenses, the Commonwealth may seek to hold you without bail.
For cases involving serious injury, also expect that a bail will be requested.
For second offense and above and cases involving serious injury, you may have as a condition of your release random alcohol testing.
For any offense level, there is some evidence that is not immediately requested may not be preserved. Police departments have different policies as to how long they keep their booking videos. Some departments claim the video is taped over in as little as fifteen days. You want to preserve this evidence. Additionally, if there is private surveillance should be requested immediately. Finally, any road condition that was relevant to the driving should be photographed right away as conditions could potentially change.Should You Fight the Case?
The decision whether to resolve or fight the case to trial involves many different factors.
- The strength of the Commonwealth case
- The potential penalties
- The Benefits of accepting a plea versus resolving the case
- A major factor is the Court that the case will be heard in
- Your own personal goals as to what is more important to you, avoiding a conviction or ending the case or getting back on the road
These factors are different for every case. Our approach will be to review the police report with you and give you a roadmap of what the case will look like at trial. When you sit down with Attorney DelSignore, he will tell you the different variables in how the evidence may come in and what our strategy will be in each circumstance. For example, in some cases, you have a very defensible case with the exceptions of an incriminating statement.
In that type of case, we may need to get the statement excluded through a motion to suppress to improve our chances of winning the case. If the statement comes into evidence, Attorney DelSignore will look for ways to minimize it or diminish its impact.
In an accident case, the accident is evidence of something being wrong with a person’s driving. Alcohol could be the cause; we want to present other causes, like fatigue, being distracted by a cell phone. When you look at our case results, you will see many accident cases that resulted in not guilty verdicts.
When you are charged with OUI in Massachusetts, you should make sure to understand your rights and assert them to the fullest extent of the law. Massachusetts OUI attorney Michael DelSignore regularly represents defendants in the Boston area and elsewhere in the state. He can advise you on your options and develop a strategy for your particular situation.Fighting an OUI Charge
Under Massachusetts law, the criminal offense of OUI is defined as the operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater or while under the influence of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulants, or vapors of glue. Often, the prosecuting attorney relies heavily on the results of a Breathalyzer or another breath or blood alcohol test, but an officer’s personal observations and the results of field sobriety tests may also be considered by a judge or jury in determining whether to convict or acquit a defendant.What Happens if You Refused a Breath Test?
A defendant’s refusal to engage in a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test is not admissible in an OUI case, but a refusal may have other consequences, including the loss of driving privileges.
If a defendant is convicted of OUI, the penalties depend upon factors such as whether the defendant has any previous OUI convictions, whether the defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in a serious bodily injury or death, and whether the defendant was over the age of 21.
A first-offense OUI is a misdemeanor. An OUI-first conviction still has the potential to result in incarceration, fines, the loss of driving privileges, probation, and a requirement to complete a 24D program if a hardship license is sought.OUI Offense Levels First Through Fourth and Penalties
The penalties for OUI get steeper with each subsequent conviction. For example, a fourth-time OUI offender faces a mandatory sentence of at least one year in jail and the loss of driving privileges for at least 10 years.
In a drunk driving prosecution, as with other criminal cases, the State has the burden of proving a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This applies to every element of the crime. It is the highest standard of proof in the U.S. legal system, and there are often many ways to undercut the prosecution’s version of what happened and create doubt in the minds of judges or jurors. Defenses may relate to the reason for the initial traffic stop, the manner in which the police conducted the stop or performed a test, the way that a test result or other evidence was handled, or the applicability of prior offenses, among other aspects of the situation.Consult an OUI Attorney in Massachusetts
There may be many challenging consequences of a criminal conviction, including difficulty finding work in certain fields, the loss of educational opportunities, and the social stigma of a criminal record. Simply being arrested, however, is very different from being found guilty. If you are facing an OUI charge, you should talk to seasoned Massachusetts OUI lawyer Michael DelSignore. He can represent people who need a drunk driving attorney in Boston, Revere, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville, Waltham, Framingham, Lowell, Brookline, Haverhill, Lawrence, Salem, Worcester, Leominster, Fitchburg, Brockton, and Plymouth, as well as other areas of Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Worcester, and Plymouth Counties. For a free consultation, call us at (508) 455-4755 or (781) 866-5924, or contact us online.2018 Delsignore Scholarship for Success
Many students are faced with serious obstacles standing in the way of their academic success. The Scholarship for Success aims to recognize the students who were able to overcome these obstacles and achieve their academic goals. This scholarship will award one student $500 to further their education. Please visit the scholarship page for more information.
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- Refusal of Breathalyzer
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- Drunk Driving Accidents
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- Field Sobriety Tests
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