Worcester OUI/DUI Statutes Lawyer
Gregory Casale, Attorney At Law, has been representing clients charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol (OUI) for over 10 years in Worcester, Westboro, Dudley, Uxbridge, Clinton and various other communities throughout Central Massachusetts. Please contact Mr. Casale and our firm today for more information about the below topics:
- How to beat Massachusetts drunk driving charges
- Breath test refusals in Massachusetts
- Breath test failures in Massachusetts (B.A.C. of.08 or higher)
- Penalties for convictions in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts hardship licenses
Once you are asked to take a breath test, you face a difficult choice. One the one hand, if you know that you can pass the test, then by all means take it. If there is any doubt whatsoever, you must consider the following. If you refuse, you face the license suspensions detailed below. However, without this important piece of evidence the prosecution will likely have a very difficult time proving a case against you. If you further refuse to take the "field sobriety tests" there is even less evidence of impairment. What you will never hear from the police or the prosecution is that upon a verdict of not guilty, nolle prosequi or dismissal, that unless the Commonwealth establishes, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that this would endanger public safety and is willing to issue written findings of fact to support its decision, your license will be restored.
The length of the suspension for refusal to take the breath test in Massachusetts is as follows:
- 1st Offense = 180 day license suspension
- 1st Offense Under the Age of 21 = 3 year license suspension
- 2nd Offense = 3 years (a continuance without a finding "CWOF" does not count as a prior conviction for this purpose)
- 2nd Offense (if 1st Offense was OUI with serious bodily injury) = 10 year license suspension
- 2nd Offense (if 1st Offense was OUI MV Homicide or Manslaughter by MV) = Lifetime License suspension.
- 3rd Offense = 5 year license suspension
- 4th Offense = License Suspension for Life
- There is no longer a 15-day temporary license available after breath test refusal.
- No hardship license for first offenders is available due to the suspension until there has been a 24D disposition.
- Your vehicle will be impounded for 12 hours after arrest and no one, not even friends or family members will be permitted to pick it up earlier.
- A license suspension due to breath test refusal must run consecutively with any other suspension, including the license suspension imposed for conviction. Previously, a judge could order that such suspensions run concurrent. Although the order was non-binding on the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), they generally granted the non-binding orders on their discretion.
- Upon a not guilty verdict, nolle prosequi or dismissal, a judge has the discretion to restore a license suspended for breath test refusal. There is a rebuttable presumption that the license be restored unless the Commonwealth establishes, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that this would endanger public safety. In that case, the court must issue written findings of fact to support its decision not to restore the license.
- Loss of license for 30 days or until the case is disposed of by trial, plea, or dismissal, whichever comes first.
- If Under the Age of 21 = a loss of license for 180 days for breath test result of.02 or greater.
- Automobile impounded for 12 hours following arrest, regardless of who comes to pick it up.
- Breath test failure is considered a "per se" violation of the law and is admissible in prosecution as long as it was conducted properly.
Operating Under the Influence - 1st Offense Over the Age of 21
- Loss of license for one year (alternative disposition under Sec. 24D, 45 to 90 days loss of license)
- Probation for not more than two years
- A period of incarceration in the house of correction for not more than two-and-a-half years. Incarceration may be served on weekends, evenings, and holidays
- A fine of not less than $500 or more than $5,000
- Community service may be assessed
Under the 24D program, entry into an approved alcohol education program, the payment of the costs of such program, assessments, and probation supervision fees.
The 24D program is still available after conviction by trial.
The 24D program is not available in the case of death or serious bodily injury.
Within the discretion of the judge, the first offenders program is available "once in a lifetime" to a second offender if the date of the incident that resulted in the one prior conviction occurred more that 10 years earlier than the second offense. However, in this situation, the offender will still need the new ignition interlock device on the vehicle during this period of use of a hardship license.
Unlike the previous procedure, if a first offender legally resides out of state or is a full-time student out of state, that offender may take an equivalent alcohol education program out of state.
Operating Under the Influence - 1st Offense Under the Age of 21
- Loss of License for 210 days, even with a 24D program
- An additional loss of license for 180 days, but this may be avoided by enrolling in a special underage drinking program
- If the breath test result is.20 or over, the offender, aged 17-21 inclusive, must take a specially designed driver alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program called the "14-day second offender in-home program."
Operating Under the Influence - 2nd Offense
- Not less than 60 days nor more than two-and-a-half years in the house of correction (30 days of which is mandatory)
- Alternative sentence is a mandatory 14-day, in-patient treatment program with aftercare as determined
- Two year loss of license
- Two years probation
- Fine of $600-$10,000
Operating Under the Influence - 3rd Offense
- 180 days to two-and-a-half years in the house of correction (150 days of which is mandatory) or two-and-a-half to five years in state prison
- May serve it at a specially designated D.O.C. facility for alcohol programs
- Eight-year loss of license
- Fine of $1,000-$15,000
Operating Under the Influence - 4th Offense
- Two to two-and-a-half years in the house of correction or two-and-a-half to five years in state prison (one year of which is mandatory)
- Ten-year loss of license
- Fine of $1,500-$25,000
Operating Under the Influence - 5th Offense or more
- Two-and-a-half to five years in state prison (two years of which is mandatory).
- Lifetime loss of license
- First Offender is eligible for a 12-hour hardship license (for work/education) within three business days of disposition if (a) enrolled in an alcohol education course, even if classes have not yet commenced and (b) demonstrated to the Registry of Motor Vehicles that not having one presents a hardship. Once the disposition is made, this hardship license is also good for use during the loss of license period imposed by a first offender's breath test refusal.
- Second Offender is eligible for 12-hour hardship license after one year with ignition interlock device. New license may be requested after 18 months. In the case of a second offender who, because the first offense was more that 10 years earlier, was permitted to take the 24D first offenders program this time, there is still a requirement for the ignition interlock device during any period of hardship license.
- Third Offender is eligible after two years with ignition interlock device. Device must be in service for two years. New license may be requested after four years.
- Fourth Offender is eligible after five years with ignition interlock device. Device must be in service for two years. New license may be requested on a limited basis after eight years.
- Fifth Offender - No hardship license available.
Introduction of certified copy of prior conviction will be allowed without requiring corroborating evidence or live witness testimony.
Proof of prior conviction may be introduced through:
1. Certified attested copies of original court papers.
2. Certified attested copies of the defendant's biographical and informational data from records of the department of probation, any jail or house of corrections, the Department of Correction, or the registry, which shall be considered prima facie evidence that the defendant has been previously convicted.
Contact an OUI/DUI Defense Lawyer in Worcester Today
Contact our firm online today or by calling 508-556-6938 or 877-752-7501. In 2006, attorney Casale opened a satellite office on Cape Cod located in Mashpee, allowing him to expand his representation services to clients in and around Barnstable County as well, adding Falmouth, Mashpee, Bourne Barnstable, and other Cape Cod cities and towns.