Massachusetts DUI Law
The DUI laws in Massachusetts are similar to the DUI laws of many other states. It is a criminal offense to excursion under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the offense is punishable by a number of penalties that have the possible to have a serious impact on your quality of life. Because of these potentially life-altering penalties, in addition as the stigma of having a criminal record, you need to contact a Massachusetts DUI attorney so that you have a chance of defending yourself against DUI charges. While hiring a Massachusetts DUI lawyer cannot guarantee that you will win your case, it can give you the best chance of being successful because you will have the opportunity to utilize the attorney’s knowledge and experience in your defense.
In Massachusetts, driving under the influence is known as OUI or “operating under the influence.” This method that a driver has operated a motor means while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are two theories under which an OUI case can be prosecuted in Massachusetts. One is driving under the influence, where prosecutors must show that a defendant was less able to excursion a means safely than he or she would have been had no alcohol been consumed. In this kind of case, evidence such as causing an action, displaying bad driving patterns, having the smell of alcohol on the breath or clothing, and appearing intoxicated can help the prosecutor prove a case against the defendant. There is also the “per se” theory, which method that it is illegal for persons under the age of 21 to excursion with a blood alcohol concentration level that is 0.08% or greater. 0.08% is the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in the state of Massachusetts. In this kind of case, the prosecutor simply has to show that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was 0.08% or greater when the driver submitted to a chemical test. Massachusetts is rare because, in many states, refusing to take a breath test in the field can be introduced into court to show that the driver had consciousness of guilt. In Massachusetts, this refusal cannot be introduced in the criminal proceedings. However, it may impact your driving privileges for a minimum suspension period of 180 days. You can be convicted of OUI only if the jury members believe that your blood alcohol concentration level was at the legal limit or higher. If you can introduce information that shows the test was not administered properly or that the test consequence was faulty, then this test cannot be used against you during your trial.
Being convicted of or pleading guilty to an OUI offense stays on your driving record.
There is no period of time to complete before it can be removed; the offense stays on your record forever. Your admission of guilt or your conviction are reported to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and the RMV then reports this information to the National Driver’s License Registry. This method that, if you are visiting Massachusetts and are charged with an OUI offense, your home state will almost definitely seek to suspend your driver’s license. If you are not convicted, this suspension can be prevented.
Massachusetts OUI Penalties
The penalties for operating a means while under the influence in Massachusetts get increasingly more harsh as you build up later offenses. These penalties are designed to prevent offenders from committing later DUI offenses, but this is not always the case. The more offenses an offender commits, the harsher the penalties if convicted. The penalties for a first offense can include fines of $500 to $5,000, not more than two years of incarceration, and one year of license suspension. The license suspension must run for 30 days before a work hardship license becomes an option. First offenses may also be eligible for different disposition. If this is the case, the offender must comply with the terms of the disposition. One of the terms is that the offender must attend an alcohol and drug education program at their own expense. There is also a license suspension period of 45 to 90 days.
The penalties for a second OUI offense in Massachusetts become harsher after a first offense. The incarceration period is no less than 60 days and no more than 2.5 years. 30 days of jail time is mandatory for a second offense. There are also fines of $600 to $10,000 and a two year license suspension period. Some second offenders may qualify for an different disposition. If eligible, they must complete a 14 day residential treatment program at their own expense. There will also be a two year license suspension period and two years of probation. A third offense carries a mandatory penalty of 150 days in jail. The jail term may be no less than 180 days and no more than 5 years in a state prison. Fines range from $1,000 to $15,000 and the license suspension period is 8 years. A fourth OUI offense has a mandatory jail time of 1 year with the jail term ranging anywhere from two years to not more than five years. The fines are from $1,500 to $25,000 and the license suspension period is ten years. Fifth DUI offenses consequence in a 24-month mandatory minimum jail sentence with the jail term being no less than 2.5 years and no more than 5 years. The fines range from $2,000 to $50,000 and a fifth time offender will lose his or her license for life with no option of receiving a hardship license at any time. Because these penalties have serious possible to damage your reputation and your ability to provide for your family, hiring a Massachusetts DUI attorney is necessary to present the best possible defense for your case.
Administrative RMV Penalties
The RMV will also take action against you as a DUI offender. There are license reinstatement fees and license suspension to keep DUI offenders off the road. For a first offense, the license reinstatement fee is $300. For a second offense, the reinstatement fee increases to $500. The fee for reinstatement after a third offense is a steep $1,000. For a first offense OUI and a failed chemical test, the license suspension period is 30 days. If you refused to submit to chemical testing, the suspension period is 180 days for a first offense. If you have a prior OUI conviction or are under 21 years of age, the suspension period for refusing to submit to chemical testing is one year. You may be able to apply for a hardship permit that will allow you to excursion to work or medical appointments during a 12-hour period each day. If you have refused to submit to chemical testing, this hardship license is not obtainable during the license suspension period.