South Boston OUI Lawyer
Charged with an OUI in South Boston? Perhaps you had an adult beverage before leaving the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) and were stopped by the Boston Police Department in Southie based on a “suspicion” of drunk driving? If this leads to an OUI arrest and prosecution, your criminal case will be handled by prosecutor’s with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and will be filed in the South Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court.
The South Boston Division is sometimes called the South Boston District Court, and is located at 535 East Broadway in South Boston, Massachusetts. All cases, including drunk driving cases, originating out of the South Boston neighborhood are handled in the South Boston Division. While other municipal courts handle multiple neighborhoods, the court in South Boston is assigned solely to cases from this locale. It is one of the smaller courts in the Boston Municipal system, and typically has one judge assigned to the court. The court does not hold jury trials in South Boston, if a jury trial is selected the case is sent to another municipal court.
Operating Under the Influence (“OUI”) cases - also known as drunk driving, driving while intoxicated, or driving under the influence - that occur in South Boston are typically investigated by the Boston Police Department. These cases usually result from traffic stops that lead officers to believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A conviction for Operating Under the Influence in Massachusetts can carry serious penalties, but an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you successfully navigate a stressful and difficult situation.
There are several common questions that arise in drunk driving cases, whether they occur in South Boston or other Boston neighborhoods:Do I have to “blow?”
If you have a driver's license in Massachusetts, you are assumed to consent to a breath or blood test. And if you’re stopped by the Boston Police Department while driving in South Boston, it is similarly assumed that you will cooperate with a breath or blood test if one is requested by the police officer. Of course, the officer must have reasonable grounds to request such a test. This is typically where the officer has some reasonable basis to believe you were operating a vehicle under the influence while in South Boston, or another neighborhood.What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer?
If you refuse to comply with a request to provide a sample, the investigating officer must inform you that your license will be suspended for at least 180 days for a first offense. If you’re under twenty-one, however, your license could be suspended for at least three years. These penalties are in addition to any imposed by the South Boston District Court if your case results in a criminal conviction. Due to the numerous criminal and civil penalties related to OUI cases, having experienced legal counsel can help you successfully navigate many pitfalls.What is a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (FST)?
Typically, if an officer with the Boston Police Department believes you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer will ask you to perform a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. Also known as an FST, these tests usually include: horizontal gaze nystagmus; one-leg stand; and walk-and-turn. These tests can be difficult to perform whether or not someone is intoxicated. However, one of the more important aspects of the tests are simply listening to, and following the officer’s instructions. Although this can be difficult when the being asked to perform the tests in awkward situations, such as on the side of the road, at night, and while being unnerved from the presence of a police officer.
Individuals facing charges of Operating Under the Influence typically have these and many more questions. An experienced defense counsel can help answer your questions, address any concerns regarding your matter, and work with you to reach a positive outcome in your case.
Attorney Michael DelSignore has represented numerous individuals charged with a Massachusetts’ OUI in South Boston and will completely review your case to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case to assist you in deciding how to proceed in court. You can call him directly at 781-686-5924.