Any time you are charged with a crime is emotional and stressful. Being charged with an OUI / DWI / DUI (all of which mean drunk driving) can be an intimidating experience, which is why you need an skilled drunk driving defense attorney on your side as soon as possible.
Attorney Gindes has been successfully resolving these cases for over twenty years. In many cases, YOU CAN FIGHT BACK AND YOU CAN WIN. There is no substitute for meeting with an OUI lawyer – especially one who has your police report.
First Time Massachusetts Drunk Driving Offense:
The following summary is provided as general information only. Remember, every case is different. Please call our office for an individualized opinion. Operating under the influence, first offense, caries the following maximum consequences:
- A fine of $500 to $5,000
- Maximum 2.5-year prison term
- License suspension of one year
- Attending a first offenders driving class
None of Attorney Gindes’ clients have ever actually received anything close to this harsh of a sentence, but those are the statutory maximum penalties. Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with other crimes at the same time; crimes such as child endangerment, reckless operation, operating to endanger or driving without a license. We strive to resolve these charges as favorably as possible. First, you have to make a choice: do you want fight the OUI charges, and try to win the case, or do you want to work out a deal. Fighting the charges is a good option in many cases. Making this decision requires a careful evaluation and some long conversations so you know your options. Remember – OUI cases in Massachusetts are absolutely winnable.
First Time Offenders Plea Consequences:
Most of Attorney Gindes’ clients end up with a Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF), and avoid an actual conviction. This may not work if there was an accident or anyone was seriously injured. However, assuming there are no other issues in the OUI case, you won’t technically be found guilty of a crime, although the finding stays on your record and counts as a conviction if you drive drunk again. Usually you will end up with fines and fees that vary (up to$2,500), and you can expect a plea to include:
- 1 year of probation
- A driver’s license suspension, technically for 45-90 days, subject to a possible hardship license
- An order that you attend a 16 week mandatory drug & alcohol edication program
What’s a hardship license? Many clients qualify for a limited license to get to work during their suspension. This is the reason most people decide to make a deal and not fight their first time OUI case. In most situations you can be back driving within a few days of your first meeting with Attorney Gindes. Fighting an OUI case at trial is preferred in the right kind of case. However, most people just want to get back to a normal life. You can’t get a hardship license before your case is resolved, which can take up to 6 months. Most working people find this unacceptable no matter how winnable the case is.
Repeat Offender Cases:
In Massachusetts the definition of a “repeat offender” for this purpose usually includes any past offense no matter how long ago. This includes offenses in other states. In certain circumstances it may be possible to avoid second offender status if the prior offense was more than ten years ago.
Second Massachusetts Drunk Driving Offense:
Penalties for driving under the influence (OUI) escalate for repeat offenders. This makes it all the more important that you get an experienced OUI lawyer involved as early as possible. More of these cases go to trial than first offense situations because the consequences include a minimum mandatory 30 day stay in a “treatment facility.” Driving while intoxicated for the second time can carry these penalties:
- A fine of $600 to $10,000
- Probation for 2 years or more
- A prison sentence ranging from 30 days to 2.5 years
- A license suspension of two years
Third Massachusetts Drunk Driving Offense
This is serious. A third OUI conviction has grave consequences; you are facing a 150 day minimum mandatory sentence in jail, and that is only the minimum. Some judges routinely issue longer jail sentences. Those found guilty of OUI third offense may face:
- A fine of $1,000 to $15,000
- Prison sentence ranging from 150 days to five years
- License suspension of eight years
Fourth, fifth and subsequent offenses get even worse, so get a lawyer quickly if you find yourself in that situation.
Drunk Driving Under Age 21
Special laws that apply to anyone under 21 caught driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.02% or more. For those under 18 who are caught drinking and driving (OUI) a one year license suspension applies. There is also a $100 fine. For those who are 18, 19, or 20 who are caught driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.02% the license loss is for 180 days. You will also have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
Child Endangerment and Massachusetts OUI
If you are caught in Massachusetts driving under the influence (OUI) and you have a child 14 or younger in your car, you may be charged with child endangerment. In addition to OUI penalties, you may face:
- A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
- 90 days to 2.5 years in prison
- Loss of your driver’s license for a year
Get back on the road expert drunk driving defense