While the first offense of operating under the influence (OUI) does not have severe consequences, the second offense and any beyond that come with much more serious penalties. Not only will getting charged with an OUI hurt you financially, but it can land you in jail as well.
Fortunately, not all second offense OUIs end this harshly, and if you are going to court for such an offense, there is still a chance that you can reduce the consequences. Before we get into that, however, let us talk about what counts as a first offense. After that, we can delve deeper into the consequences of a second offense and what you can do to get the best possible outcome.
The first offense
Under Massachusetts law, any prior OUI offenses will be taken into account, no matter when or where you committed them. That means that if you committed an OUI offense in an entirely different state twenty years ago, that offense would still count, even if the charge resulted in a CWOF (continuance without a finding). That also means that any additional OUI charges beyond that first offense will come with more severe consequences.
Consequences of the second offense
There are various penalties for a second OUI offense, most of which are quite serious. These can even be imposed before a conviction. For instance, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for approximately three years. However, you can appeal this within fifteen days. If you do take the test and the results show blood alcohol levels higher than the acceptable range, your license will be suspended for thirty days right there and then.
As for the conviction itself, you can first expect a massive fine of up to ten thousand dollars. That is followed by up to three years in jail, along with a license suspension of up to two years on top of the previous suspension. You may also be ordered to install a device in your vehicle that analyzes your breath before you can start the car. Note that you will have to pay for this device yourself.
Reducing the consequences
The previously mentioned penalties do not necessarily apply to all OUI convictions. For example, if no one was hurt in the incident, the offense can be dismissed as a misdemeanor. However, if you did injure someone, you will be in a tougher situation.
In any case, we highly recommend working with an OUI defense lawyer or a lawyer with expertise in such matters. They can help you get the best outcome possible, such as getting you into a program for alcohol treatment instead of having to pay massive fines or serving time behind bars.
A second OUI offense will require you to face harsh consequences, but there is a way to defend yourself and possibly lower the penalties. Hire a professional and reliable OUI defense lawyer to help you get the best outcome. While you will have to pay for their services, their help can save you from worse consequences.
That said, only the best lawyers can produce the best results, so take the time to look for lawyers with experience in OUI cases. That way, you can ensure that you get the most favorable outcome possible.
The Fernandez Firm offers criminal defense assistance and counseling for various charges, whether in state and federal courts. If you are looking for the best Boston criminal lawyer, work with us today!