Even if you are a first-time offender, getting arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI) in Massachusetts is a significant problem, as any OUI attorney will tell you. The reason for this is that most judges and juries are aware that drunk driving can result in people being injured or killed as a result of the crime, and this belief is supported by a mountain of national data demonstrating that their perception of the link between drunk drivers and fatal car accidents is correct. Keep in mind that you have the option of remaining silent. You are not required to respond if the arresting officer asks if you have been drinking. However, police officers can and do make errors and many Massachusetts individuals end up in the criminal justice system as a result of a police officer’s error or bad judgment.
For a set amount of time, your licence will be suspended
An OUI conviction will result in the suspension of your licence, regardless of whether you are a first-time offender or have numerous previous OUI convictions on your criminal record. The length of time your licence will be suspended is determined by the number of previous OUI convictions you’ve had, similar to the fines and jail sentences that may be imposed as a result of an OUI conviction.
Penalties for OUI
The First Offense
A first offense oui carries a one-year licence suspension, fines ranging from $500 to $5000, and, in extreme situations, up to 30 months in prison. Before your licence can be reinstated, you may need to take alcohol lessons.
The Second Offense
A second OUI can result in a two-year licence suspension, $10,000 in fines, and up to 30 months in prison. You’ll also need to instal an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle so that you can administer a breathalyser test to yourself every time you want to drive. After you get your licence reinstated, the IID may have to stay in your automobile for up to two years.
The Third Offense
If you are convicted of a third OUI, you will lose your driver’s licence for eight years, face fines of up to $15,000, and be sentenced to up to five years in prison. A fourth infraction can result in a ten-year suspension and up to five years in prison. Your licence may be revoked if you receive a fifth infraction. Remember that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than 0.08, you are deemed drunk. If your BAC level is 0.02 and you are under the age of 21, you can get an OUI.
Finding a Lawyer
You want the least harsh penalty possible, and a public defender is usually not your best legal counsel option. Public defenders labour long hours and get little money. When you are charged with an OUI in Massachusetts, you will need to hire an experienced attorney who is familiar with the state’s laws and knows how to best represent you.