What happens if I accept a plea on an OUI Offense?

This handout is meant to explain what the Judge will ask if you decide to accept a plea.

  • THE JUDGE WILL ASK IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING :

Maximum Penalty

The judge will ask you if you are aware of the maximum potential penalty. The maximum sentence for a first offense OUI is 2½ years in the house of corrections. You are unlikely to receive the maximum sentence even if you are convicted after trial. However, the Court will ask if you are aware of the maximum potential penalty.

Elements of the Offense

The judge will also ask if you are aware of the elements of an OUI offense. Those elements are:

  1. That you operated a motor vehicle;

  2. On a public way

  3. While under the influence of alcohol.

Potential Defenses to your case and options aside from a plea.

Additionally, the judge will ask if you have discussed with your lawyer the potential defenses to your case and your options other than accepting a plea.

What is the Common punishment for a 1 st time OUI Offense?

If you decide to accept a plea for a first offense OUI you will likely receive a continuance without a finding(CWOF) for one year, the 24D alcohol program and a 45-day license loss along with any statutory fines and fees. The fines and fees are as follows:

  • $1280.00 will be owed to the Court;

  • You will have to pay for the 24D program, which currently costs $ 707.00

  • License reinstatement fees: $ 500.00 for either refusing a breath test or for a breath test over .08; $ 500.00 for the admission to an OUI offense.

  • When you are on probation, you need permission to leave the State; typically this will be allowed.

  • Technically, you cannot leave the country, though a judge may allow it.

  • An admission to an OUI offense makes you inadmissible to travel to Canada.

When you accept a CWOF you are admitting that there are sufficient facts to prove you committed the offense.

Before the judge will accept your plea he will ask :

  • How old you are?

  • How far you went in school

  • If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • If you have any psychiatric illnesses that would affect your ability to understand the judge’s questions

  • If anyone forced you to take a plea

The judge asks these questions to make sure that your plea is voluntary. The judge will then ask you if you understand the rights you are giving up when you take a plea. Those rights include:

  • The right to a trial before a judge or jury

  • The right to testify on your own behalf

  • The right against self incrimination- you cannot be forced to testify against yourself

  • The right to present witnesses on your own behalf

  • The right to confront any witnesses the prosecution may have

  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

    • In a trial it is the prosecution’s burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

  • The judge will also inform you that any plea or admission may result in deportation , refusal of admission or naturalization if you are not a citizen.

The Judge Will Require you to admit that the Commonwealth could prove the case Against you.

The judge will then ask to hear the facts from the prosecutor. After the prosecutor reads the facts the judge will decide whether or not to accept the plea. If the judge does not accept the plea you can withdraw your admission and proceed to trial. If the judge accepts the plea he will ask if you admit that the facts in the report are substantially true and if you agree the plea will be entered. You cannot enter into a plea unless you admit the facts are true. The Court will not permit you to plea because you do not want to go to court or for any reason other than your statement that the Commonwealth could prove its case against you. You are not admitting to every detail of the police report, but you that if the case went to trial, the Commonwealth could prove you guilty of an OUI offense.

Lastly, the clerk will ask where you had your last drink; was it at a private residence or a public establishment. When the plea is completed you will report to probation.

Client Reviews
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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him
★★★★★
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
★★★★★
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
★★★★★
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
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I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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