OUI Defense

"(1) Operation on a (2) Public Way while (3) Intoxicated"

LEGAL LIMIT

Under 21 the limit is .02%, 21 or older it’s .08%, and for Commercial drivers the limit is .04%.

1st TIME OUI

For a first time conviction for an OUI in Massachusetts you will be fined from $500-$5,000. You also face up to 2 1/2 years in prison and your drivers license will be suspended for the period of 1 year.


If you were driving with a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest you will also be charged with Child Endangerment. For a child endangerment conviction, you will spend between 90 days and 2 1/2 years in prison and you will be fined from $1,000-$5000. You will also lose your drivers license for 1 year.

SECOND OUI

If you are arrested a second time for drunk driving in the State of Massachusetts, you will be fined from $600-$10,000. You will also face from 30 days to 2 1/2 years in prison and have your driver’s license suspended for a period of 2 years.


The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense. If you were driving with a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest you will also be charged with Child Endangerment. For a child endangerment conviction, you will spend between 90 days and 2 1/2 years in prison and you will be fined from $1,000-$5000. You will also lose your drivers license for 1 year.

THIRD OUI

For your 3rd drunk driving conviction in the State of Massachusetts you will be fined between $1,000 and $15,000. You will also spend from 150 days to 2 1/2 years in prison and have your driver's license suspended for 8 years. The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense.


If you were driving with a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest you will also be charged with Child Endangerment. For a child endangerment conviction, you will spend between 90 days and 2 1/2 years in prison and you will be fined from $1,000-$5000. You will also lose your drivers license for 1 year.

FORTH OUI

For your 4th drunk driving conviction in the State of Massachusetts you will be fined between $1,500 and $25,000. You will also spend from 1 to 3 years in prison and have your driver’s license suspended for 10 years.

The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle when you get out of prison at your own expense. If you were driving with a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest you will also be charged with Child Endangerment.

For a child endangerment conviction, you will spend between 90 days and 2 1/2 years in prison and you will be fined from $1,000-$5000. You will also lose your drivers license for 1 year.

For your 5th drunk driving conviction in the State of Massachusetts you will be fined between $2,000 and $50,000. You will also spend from 2 to 5 years in prison and have your driver’s license suspended for Life.

The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle when you get out of prison at your own expense. If you were driving with a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest you will also be charged with Child Endangerment. For a child endangerment conviction, you will spend between 90 days and 2 1/2 years in prison and you will be fined from $1,000-$5000. You will also lose your drivers license for 1 year.

REFUSING THE BREATHALIZER

Massachusetts has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. A first offense refusal will result in a 180 day license suspension, for a second offense a 3 year suspension, and for a 3rd offense a 5 year suspension.

Melanie’s Law

In 2005, Massachusetts passed "Melanie’s Law," named after a 13-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a repeat OUI offender. The law requires installment of an ignition interlock device for any driver who’s a second time OUI offender.

HARDSHIP LICENSE

If you’ve been convicted of an OUI but need to drive for work or other legitimate reasons, you can apply for a hardship license. To get a hardship license, you’ll need to apply, attend a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) hearing, and provide certain documents: a letter from your employer and proof of involvement in a certified alcohol program.

OUI WITH INJURY

OUI with serious bodily injury can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, and the distinction between the two offenses is minimal. Prosecutors will typically include misdemeanor charges as a lesser-included offense along with the felony charge, making it more likely that they can secure a conviction.

A Felony conviction includes a Prison term of six months to ten years, a mandatory two-year loss of your driver’s license, a $5,000 fine.

A Misdemeanor conviction includes up to 30 months in jail and a mandatory two-year loss of your driving

"24D DISPOSITION"

Where a conviction of a first offense is more than ten years old, it is possible our office may be able to negotiate a deal that reflects a first offense “24D” alternative disposition. Massachusetts OUI penalties are governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24 and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24D. The “24D” section provides for alternative sentencing provisions, which are designed to provide leniency for primarily first offenders; a sentence given under this Section is known as a "24D disposition.”

Employing A Person With A Suspended License To Operate A Motor Vehicle

This relatively new law makes it a crime for anyone to employ or hire another person to operate a motor vehicle, when that person’s driver’s license has been suspended. While the penalty for first offenders is limited to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00), second and subsequent offenders face up to one year of incarceration in a House of Correction, together with a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00.)

Permitting Another Person To Operate Your Vehicle Knowing That Person Is Unlicensed

This law renders it a crime for a person to knowingly allow an unlicensed person, or a person whose driver’s license has been previously suspended or revoked, to operate his (the “lender’s”) own vehicle. Punishment for a conviction of this offense is a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00,) and incarceration of up to 1 year in a House of Correction. Convictions for second and subsequent offenses carry much stiffer penalties: Up to 2 ½ years in jail, and fines of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00.)

Allowing A Person Who Has Been Ordered To Install An Ignition Interlocking Device In His/Her Vehicle, To Operate Your Vehicle

This law provides serious criminal penalties for anyone who permits another person who has been ordered to install an Ignition Interlocking Device (IID) in his/her own vehicle, to operate another vehicle not equipped with this type of device. Defendants convicted of a first offense face up to one year incarceration in a House of Correction, together with a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00.) Second and subsequent offenders face 2 ½ years in a House of Correction and a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00.)

Operating Under The Influence With A Child Under Age of 14 In The Vehicle

This law created a new crime for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence (OUI/DUI) while a child fourteen years old or younger is in the vehicle. Defendants convicted of a first offense face anywhere from 90 days to 2 ½ years’ incarceration in a House of Correction. There is also a fine of one thousand ($1,000.00) to five thousand dollars ($5,000.00,) and defendants convicted of a first offense lose their driver’s license for one year. Things get much more serious the second time around: Defendants convicted of a second or subsequent offense will face a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in a House of Correction. Additionally, second and subsequent offenders will lose their Massachusetts driver’s license for three years.

Operating Under The Influence After A License Suspension For Prior OUI Offense

This law is aimed at multiple OUI/DUI offenders who are caught driving under the influence, after their license has been previously suspended or revoked for a prior OUI offense(s). A defendant convicted of this offense faces a mandatory minimum sentence of one year, and a maximum of 2 ½ years in a House of Correction. Fines range from two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) to five thousand dollars ($5,000.00.) In addition, defendants convicted of this offense will also lose their driver’s license for one year.

Manslaughter While Operating A Motor Vehicle

This law created an entirely new criminal penalty for causing the death of another person while operating under the influence of alcohol. This crime is separate and apart from the charge of motor vehicle homicide, (which may or may not occur due to a driver operating under the influence of alcohol,) and provides for much harsher penalties. The penalty for anyone convicted of this offense is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and up to a maximum of 20 years, in state prison. Fines ranging to $25,000.00 are also imposed, and the convict’s driver’s license will be suspended by the Registry of Motor Vehicles for a minimum of 15 years, up to lifetime revocation.

Vehicle Forfeitures

Melanie's Law specifically empowers a District Attorney to petition the court for forfeiture of a defendant's vehicle, following a fourth or subsequent OUI/DUI conviction or guilty plea. And they will.

CWOF - “continuance without a finding.”

In the Massachusetts courts system, CWOFs are the result of a specific plea that is allowed within the district courts: Admission to Sufficient Facts for a Finding of Guilty.

When you plead “admission to sufficient facts,” you are not pleading guilty; you’re simply acknowledging that the Commonwealth has sufficient facts gathered at that point to support a guilty verdict by a judge or jury.  You can only enter an admission to sufficient facts plea after a Not Guilty plea has been entered in the District Court; which in many cases would have been filed on your behalf by your defense counselor.

A CWOF can still have adverse effects in both the short and long-run. If you violate the terms of the CWOF agreement, your continuance will be vacated and you will be convicted of the offense without any right to a trial.

In another instance, if the offense is one for which the federal govt. bans naturalization, the CWOF will not prevent your citizenship from being denied.

In cases where the underlying arrest and/or charges will be accessed by an employer or governmental agency (see below), it may be best to fight the charges at trial to obtain a not guilty verdict and dismissal.

Your case will only be CWOFed under certain conditions which almost always entail a period of probation to be completed during the continuance. If you comply with all the requirements of your probation, the CWOF will be closed.

Successful disposition of the CWOF means your continuance is closed and dismissed without a finding of either guilt or innocence. So “Is a CWOF a conviction?” No. A closed CWOF that is then marked dismissed is not a conviction on your record.

However, for an operating under the influence offense, both the courts and Registry of Motor Vehicles treat the CWOF for OUI as a conviction.

A CWOF for a first-time DUI/OUI will carry terms similar to an OUI conviction: 6 months to a year of probation; alcohol education assignment to the 24D program; driver license suspension of 45 days and fines.

A CWOF will ordinarily not show up on a basic employer’s CORI (“Background check”), But certain employers and agencies that have higher-level CORI access can see CWOFs. It depends on the level of access the organization or requester is given under the CORI regulations.

There is a gray area when it comes to certain professional licensing boards and how they handle CWOF’s. If you are a medical professional, for example a registered nurse, how you handle your CWOF with the board can be crucial.

Most law enforcement agencies will look unfavorably upon a CWOF, and will likely bar you from taking any entrance examinations if you are not yet an officer.

Lookback Period - 'Lifetime'

A prior OUI is admissible for your life (Period of time that prior OUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

Presumed innocent

"There is no client as scary as an innocent one"

ROZEMBERSKY LAW

Massachusetts | Connecticut | Federal Courts

NO SOLICITATIONS