Fighting Drunk Driving Charges in Boston
DUI defense attorney Boston DUI charges can have serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges. It is important to understand that even first-time DUI offenders in Boston may benefit from seeking legal representation to fight criminal charges and explore options for alcohol treatment. in this Boston DUI Attorney blog, we will explore how to Fight Drunk Driving Charges in Boston with an Experienced OUI Attorney.
If you are facing drunk driving charges in Boston, it is crucial to develop a strong defense strategy that takes into account arrest details, police reports, and breathalyzer test results. A skilled Boston drunk driving lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and work towards minimizing or eliminating the penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction.
When pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving during a traffic stop in Boston, it is important to remain calm and cooperative with law enforcement officials. However, it is also essential to exercise your rights by refusing any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests until you have consulted with a Boston DUI attorney.
An experienced lawyer can review your case and determine if there were any procedural errors made during your arrest or if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. They can also negotiate on your behalf with prosecutors to potentially reduce the charges or seek alternative sentencing options such as community service or alcohol treatment programs.
Understanding Field Sobriety Tests in Massachusetts
The Subjectivity of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are commonly used by law enforcement to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, these tests are subjective and can be influenced by various factors such as weather conditions, physical disabilities, and nervousness. It is important to understand how these tests work and their limitations.
The Three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there are three standardized field sobriety tests that police officers use to determine if a driver is impaired: the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn (WAT), and one-leg stand (OLS) tests.
The HGN test involves the officer observing the driver’s eyes as they follow a moving object, such as a pen or flashlight. The officer is looking for involuntary jerking of the eye, which can indicate impairment.
The WAT test requires the driver to take nine heel-to-toe steps along a straight line, turn on one foot, and return in nine heel-to-toe steps. The officer looks for specific clues such as losing balance while walking or failing to touch heel-to-toe.
The OLS test requires the driver to stand on one leg with arms at their sides while counting out loud until told to stop. The officer looks for swaying, hopping, or putting their foot down.
Limitations of Field Sobriety Tests
While field sobriety tests may seem straightforward, there are several limitations that should be considered when evaluating their results. For example:
- Weather conditions can affect performance: Rain, snow, wind or other weather conditions can make it difficult for drivers to perform well on field sobriety tests.
- Physical disabilities can impact results: Certain medical conditions or injuries may make it difficult for drivers to perform well on field sobriety tests even if they are not under the influence.
- Nervousness can affect performance: Being pulled over by a police officer can be a stressful experience, and nervousness can impact a driver’s ability to perform well on field sobriety tests.
- Officer bias can influence results: Police officers may have unconscious biases that impact their interpretation of the results of field sobriety tests.
Refusing Breath or Chemical Tests in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence may be asked to take a breath test or chemical test. Refusing to take these tests can result in serious consequences.
For a first offense, refusing to take a breath test or chemical test can result in a license suspension of 180 days. For subsequent offenses, the license suspension period increases up to five years.
It is important to note that drivers have the right to refuse these tests, but doing so comes with consequences. It is also important to understand that breath and chemical tests are not infallible and mistakes can be made during testing.
OUI vs DUI: Felony or Misdemeanor in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, drunk driving charges are referred to as OUI (Operating Under the Influence) instead of DUI (Driving Under the Influence). This is an important distinction to make because it affects how the state treats these charges and what kind of penalties a defendant may face.
A first-time OUI offense is typically considered a misdemeanor in Massachusetts. However, subsequent offenses can result in felony charges. The severity of the penalties for an OUI conviction can depend on various factors, such as the defendant’s blood alcohol level and whether anyone was injured or killed as a result of the incident.
For example, if someone is convicted of their first OUI offense with a blood alcohol level (BAC) between 0.08% and 0.10%, they may face up to two-and-a-half years in jail, fines up to $5,000, and a license suspension for one year. However, if someone has been convicted of multiple OUI offenses or caused serious injury or death while operating under the influence, they could be facing felony charges with much harsher penalties.
It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in MA DUI cases to build a strong defense strategy and potentially reduce or dismiss OUI charges. A skilled lawyer will have knowledge of local laws and procedures that can help defendants navigate through the legal system.
One potential defense strategy for those facing an OUI charge is challenging the validity of any field sobriety tests conducted by law enforcement officers. These tests are often subjective and prone to error, so it’s possible that they could be successfully challenged in court.
Another potential defense strategy is questioning whether there was probable cause for law enforcement officers to pull over the defendant in the first place. If there was no valid reason for stopping them, any evidence collected after that point could be thrown out by a judge.
It’s also important to note that the penalties for an OUI conviction can extend beyond just jail time and fines. Defendants may also face a license suspension, mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs, and increased insurance rates.
In fact, Massachusetts has some of the strictest ignition interlock device laws in the country. These devices require drivers to blow into a breathalyzer before starting their car, and they will prevent the car from starting if alcohol is detected on their breath. Depending on the circumstances of their case, defendants may be required to install one of these devices in their car as a condition of regaining their driver’s license.
Chances of Driver’s License Suspension for DUI in Massachusetts and How to Fight to Keep Your MA License
License suspension is one of the most severe consequences that drivers face when convicted of drunk driving in Massachusetts. The length of the suspension depends on several factors, including the driver’s age, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, and prior DUI convictions. In this section, we will explore the chances of driver’s license suspension for DUI in Massachusetts and how to fight to keep your MA license.
Massachusetts DUI laws mandate automatic license suspensions for drivers convicted of drunk driving. For first-time offenders, the license suspension period ranges from 45 to 90 days. However, if a driver refuses a breathalyzer test or has a BAC above 0.08%, they may face an additional administrative penalty that results in an immediate seven-day license suspension.
Repeat offenders may face longer suspensions or permanent revocation depending on their previous convictions. Drivers who have two or more OUI convictions within ten years can lose their licenses for up to eight years. Moreover, third-time offenders can lose their licenses permanently.
If you are facing a license suspension due to a DUI conviction, there is still hope. You can challenge your license suspension by requesting a hearing with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within fifteen days of your arrest. At this hearing, you can present evidence and arguments to contest the suspension and try to keep your license.
It is essential to note that these hearings are not criminal trials but administrative proceedings where you must prove that the RMV did not follow proper procedures when suspending your license or that there was no probable cause for your arrest.
Working with an experienced DUI defense attorney can increase your chances of success in fighting a license suspension and avoiding harsh consequences such as losing employment opportunities and being unable to perform daily tasks like grocery shopping or taking children to school.
Your attorney will review all aspects of your case and determine whether there were any procedural errors during your arrest or if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They will also help you gather evidence, including witness statements and expert testimony, to support your defense.
It is crucial to act quickly after a DUI arrest because the fifteen-day window for requesting a hearing is short. Moreover, if you miss this deadline, your license suspension will automatically go into effect.
In addition to contesting your license suspension at an RMV hearing, there are other steps you can take to fight DUI charges in Massachusetts. For example, you can challenge the results of a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests by arguing that they were not administered correctly or that they produced inaccurate results.
You can also argue that the police officer who arrested you did not have probable cause to do so or violated your rights during the arrest process. These arguments require legal expertise and experience in Massachusetts DUI law.
Alternative Dispositions for First and Second OUI Offenses in Massachusetts
For those facing first or second OUI offenses in Massachusetts, alternative dispositions may be potential options. These alternative dispositions are not guaranteed and depend on the specific circumstances of each case. However, they may be available for those who have not had a repeat offense and meet certain criteria.
First-time offenders may be eligible for a Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF) disposition. This allows them to avoid a guilty plea and have the charges dismissed after a period of probation. The length of probation can vary from one year to two years, depending on the court’s discretion.
During the probationary period, individuals must comply with certain conditions such as attending alcohol education classes, completing community service hours, or refraining from drug and alcohol use. Failure to comply with these conditions can result in revocation of the CWOF disposition and reinstatement of charges.
It is important to note that although this disposition allows individuals to avoid a guilty plea, it still counts as an offense on their record. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney before accepting this option.
Second-time offenders may also be eligible for alternative dispositions such as the Cahill Disposition or the Second Chance Disposition. These options offer reduced jail time and shorter license suspensions compared to traditional penalties for second offenses.
The Cahill Disposition was established by former Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley in 2010. It offers reduced jail time in exchange for participation in an intensive alcohol treatment program. The program includes daily breathalyzer tests, weekly counseling sessions, random drug testing, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Individuals who successfully complete the program can have their jail sentence reduced from 60 days to 14 days or less. They also receive a shorter license suspension than traditional penalties for second offenses.
The Second Chance Disposition was established by former Middlesex County District Attorney Gerard T. Leone in 2008. It offers reduced jail time and a shorter license suspension for those who participate in an alcohol treatment program.
The program includes daily breathalyzer tests, weekly counseling sessions, random drug testing, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Individuals who successfully complete the program can have their jail sentence reduced from 60 days to 30 days or less. They also receive a shorter license suspension than traditional penalties for second offenses.
It is important to note that these alternative dispositions are not available to all second-time offenders. Eligibility depends on factors such as the individual’s criminal history, level of intoxication at the time of arrest, and willingness to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
Consulting with an experienced attorney can help individuals facing OUI charges understand their options and determine the best course of action. An attorney can review the specific circumstances of each case and provide guidance on whether alternative dispositions may be available.
In addition to alternative dispositions, there are other potential options for those facing OUI charges in Massachusetts. These include plea bargaining, pre-trial diversion programs, and hardship licenses.
Plea bargaining involves negotiating with prosecutors for a lesser charge or reduced penalty in exchange for a guilty plea. Pre-trial diversion programs offer alternatives to traditional penalties such as community service or participation in an alcohol treatment program.
Hardship licenses allow individuals whose licenses have been suspended due to OUI charges to drive under certain conditions such as commuting to work or attending medical appointments.
Probation for OUI Conviction in Massachusetts
Probation is a common sentence for those convicted of an OUI offense in Massachusetts. If you are found guilty of an OUI charge, the court may impose probation as part of your sentence. The length and conditions of probation will depend on several factors, including prior convictions and the severity of the offense.
During probation, you must comply with certain conditions, such as attending alcohol education classes and refraining from driving under the influence. Violating the terms of your probation can result in additional penalties, including jail time and fines.
Length of Probation
The length of probation for an OUI conviction varies depending on several factors. First-time offenders typically receive shorter periods of probation than repeat offenders. A first-time offender may be placed on probation for up to two years, while a repeat offender could face up to five years or more.
Conditions of Probation
In addition to complying with general conditions such as not committing any new crimes during your period of probation, there are specific requirements that must be met during an OUI-related probationary period. These requirements may include:
- Attending Alcohol Education Classes: You may be required to attend alcohol education classes during your period of probation. These classes aim to teach individuals about the dangers associated with drinking and driving and how to avoid future incidents.
- Refraining from Driving Under the Influence: One condition that is almost always included in an OUI-related probationary period is that you cannot drive under the influence again while on probation.
- Ignition Interlock Device: An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle that requires you to blow into it before starting your car. If alcohol is detected above a certain level, then your car won’t start.
- Random Drug Testing: Another condition that might be imposed upon you during this time is random drug testing. This means that at any point during your probationary period, you could be required to submit to a drug test.
- Community Service: You may be required to complete a certain amount of community service hours as part of your probation. This is often done in an effort to help individuals learn from their mistakes and give back to the community.
If you violate the terms of your probation, you could face additional penalties, including jail time and fines. For example, if you are caught driving under the influence while on probation for an OUI conviction, then you could face up to two-and-a-half years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
It’s essential that you take all conditions of your probation seriously. If there are any questions or concerns about what is expected of you during this time, it’s important to speak with your attorney or probation officer immediately.
If you have prior convictions for OUI offenses in Massachusetts, then the penalties associated with violating probation can be even more severe. For example, if this is your second offense within ten years of your first OUI conviction, then the mandatory minimum sentence increases from 30 days in jail up to 60 days.
Similarly, if this is your third offense within ten years of either your first or second OUI conviction (or both), then there is no mandatory minimum sentence. However, the maximum sentence increases significantly up to five years in state prison.
If you have been charged with an OUI offense in Massachusetts and are awaiting trial or sentencing, it’s important that you attend all court dates as scheduled. Failing to appear at a court date can result in additional charges being filed against you and can also lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest.
Boston Drunk Driving Attorney/OUI Lawyer in MA
A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. If you are facing a DUI charge in Massachusetts, it’s important to understand the complexities of the law and the potential consequences of a conviction. Hiring a Boston DUI defense lawyer can help you navigate these challenges and increase your chances of having the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Attorney Neyman is one such lawyer who has extensive experience defending clients against DUI charges in Massachusetts. With over 20 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, Attorney Neyman has successfully defended countless clients against drunk driving charges. His expertise includes not only understanding the legal nuances of Massachusetts law but also developing effective strategies for presenting evidence in court.
Another reputable law firm that specializes in DUI defense is Jack Diamond Law Offices. The firm has been serving clients in Boston for over 25 years and has built a reputation for providing aggressive representation to those charged with drunk driving offenses. Their team includes experienced attorneys who are well-versed in Massachusetts law and have successfully defended clients against all types of DUI charges.
Urbelis Law is another highly regarded law firm that specializes in DUI defense. Led by Attorney Joe Urbelis, the firm provides personalized attention to each client and works tirelessly to build strong defenses on their behalf. With years of experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, Attorney Urbelis brings unique insights into how prosecutors approach DUI cases and uses this knowledge to develop effective strategies for his clients.
Working with an experienced attorney or team of lawyers can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled by professionals who understand the intricacies of Massachusetts law. They will work with you to develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances, whether it involves challenging evidence or negotiating plea deals with prosecutors.
In addition to providing legal representation, these firms also offer valuable resources for those facing DUI charges. They can help you understand the potential consequences of a conviction, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. They can also provide guidance on how to navigate the court system and what to expect during the legal process.
It’s important to note that not all DUI cases are the same, and each case requires a unique approach. A skilled attorney will take the time to review the details of your case and develop a customized strategy based on your specific circumstances. This may involve challenging evidence or negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options.
How a Boston DUI Attorney Can Help You Fight Your Charges
Understanding the Massachusetts DUI Laws and Consequences
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Massachusetts, it is essential to understand the state’s DUI laws and potential consequences. A DUI conviction can result in severe penalties, including fines, jail time, license suspension or revocation, mandatory alcohol education programs, and increased insurance rates.
A skilled DUI defense lawyer can help you navigate these complex legal issues and provide guidance on how to proceed with your case. They will educate you on the different types of charges you may face based on your blood alcohol content (BAC), prior convictions, and other factors.
Reviewing Your Case for Weaknesses
One of the most important roles of a DUI defense lawyer is to review your case thoroughly. They will examine all aspects of your arrest, from the initial stop to any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests administered by law enforcement officers.
By doing so, they can identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence against you. For example, if there were errors during testing or discrepancies in police reports, this may be grounds for dismissal or reduction of charges.
Developing Defense Strategies Tailored to Your Specific Case
Once a DUI attorney has reviewed your case and identified its strengths and weaknesses, they can begin developing defense strategies tailored specifically to your situation. This includes challenging the accuracy of a breathalyzer or field sobriety test results if necessary.
For instance, if there were issues with calibration or maintenance of equipment used during testing or if an officer did not follow proper procedures when administering tests – these are all possible defenses that could be raised.
Negotiating with Prosecutors
An experienced DUI attorney knows how to negotiate with prosecutors effectively. They can present evidence that supports their client’s innocence while highlighting any mitigating circumstances that could reduce charges or penalties.
This negotiation process is critical because it provides an opportunity for both sides to reach a resolution without going through a trial. If successful negotiations lead to a plea bargain, this can help reduce the impact of a DUI conviction on your life.
Navigating the Complex Legal System for Second DUI Charges
If you are facing a second DUI charge in Massachusetts, it is even more important to have an experienced local DUI attorney by your side. The legal system can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when dealing with multiple charges.
A skilled attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of a second DUI conviction and develop defense strategies that take into account any prior convictions. They will also be familiar with local courts and prosecutors, which can be beneficial when negotiating plea bargains or arguing your case in court.
Exploring All Possible Ways to Fight Your DUI Arrest Charges
There are many possible ways to fight a Massachusetts DUI arrest. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can help you explore all your options and make informed decisions about your case.
For example, they may recommend requesting an administrative hearing with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to challenge any license suspension or revocation. Or they may suggest pursuing alternative sentencing options such as probation or community service instead of jail time.
Fighting to Avoid Ignition Interlock Installation and License Suspension for DUI in Massachusetts
Understanding the specifics of ignition interlock device requirements and license suspensions in Massachusetts is crucial for those who have been convicted of a DWI. Ignition interlock devices are often required for individuals convicted of a DWI, but there are ways to fight against their installation.
Ignition Interlock Devices
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is installed in your vehicle. Before starting the car, you must blow into the device to test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC is over the legal limit, the car will not start. In Massachusetts, an ignition interlock device is often required for individuals with multiple DWI convictions or for those who had a high BAC at the time of their arrest.
Fighting Against Ignition Interlock Device Installation
If you are facing an ignition interlock device requirement in Massachusetts, it’s important to know that there are ways to fight against its installation. An experienced attorney may be able to help you avoid or reduce the length of time that you need to have an ignition interlock device installed.
One way to fight against an ignition interlock device requirement is by challenging the legality of your arrest. If law enforcement did not follow proper procedures during your arrest or if they lacked probable cause to pull you over, then any evidence obtained from your arrest may be inadmissible in court. This could result in reduced charges or even dismissal of your case.
Another way to fight against an ignition interlock device requirement is by proving that it would cause undue hardship on you or your family. For example, if you rely on driving for work and installing an ignition interlock device would make it impossible for you to earn a living, then this could be used as evidence in court.
License suspension is another common penalty for DWI cases in Massachusetts. The length of suspension can vary depending on several factors such as prior offenses and BAC level at the time of arrest. An experienced attorney may be able to help you avoid or reduce the length of your license suspension.
Avoiding License Suspension
One way to avoid license suspension is by challenging the legality of your arrest. If law enforcement did not follow proper procedures during your arrest or if they lacked probable cause to pull you over, then any evidence obtained from your arrest may be inadmissible in court. This could result in reduced charges or even dismissal of your case.
Another way to avoid license suspension is by enrolling in a 24D program. This program allows individuals with a first-time DWI offense to complete an alcohol education program and have their license reinstated after a short suspension period.
Reducing License Suspension
If avoiding license suspension is not possible, an experienced attorney may be able to help you reduce the length of your suspension. In Massachusetts, there are hardship licenses available for those who need to drive for work or other essential purposes during their suspension period.
The Importance of Fighting Drunk Driving Charges in Boston
As we have discussed in the previous sections, drunk driving charges in Boston can lead to serious consequences. Not only can you face jail time and hefty penalties, but your chances of having your license suspended or facing increased insurance rates are high. The costs of a DUI conviction can be significant and can influence many aspects of your life.
However, it is important to remember that just because you have been charged with a DUI does not mean that you are automatically guilty. You have the right to fight these charges and defend yourself against them.
By hiring an experienced Boston DUI attorney, you increase your chances of avoiding the harsh consequences that come with a DUI conviction. A skilled Boston drunk driving lawyer will know how to challenge the evidence against you and may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
Additionally, an attorney can help you navigate the legal system and understand what options are available to you. For example, alternative dispositions such as probation may be available for first-time offenders.
Fighting drunk driving charges is not just about avoiding penalties and jail time; it is also about protecting your future. A DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences beyond just the legal ramifications. It can impact your job prospects, relationships, and reputation.
Furthermore, by fighting these charges, you send a message that drunk driving will not be tolerated in our society. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they cannot fight their charges or that it is easier to just plead guilty. However, this mindset only perpetuates the problem of drunk driving on our roads.