Christmas is a time for celebration, and that sometimes means enjoying a few drinks while you do. As you do that, you could put yourself at risk, especially if you get behind the wheel of a car. Getting an OUI on Christmas is frustrating, but it can happen. Working with a DUI attorney will provide you with the best access to help with this legal situation. Take it seriously so that you can get the legal guidance you need from a trusted and experienced Massachusetts DUI lawyer.
Know the Risks of Getting an OUI in Massachusetts
Massachusetts laws are clear. If you get an OUI, as a first-time offender, you could face the following penalties:
- A one-year license suspension
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to 2.5 years in jail
These are maximum penalties—not everyone will face them, and the factors in your case will play the biggest role in what occurs. Yet, you still need a DUI defense, and that means working with a skilled Massachusetts drunk driving attorney to get you through this legal process.
Most of the time, a first-time offender will not go to jail, but they will likely receive a period of probation and will be required to complete a driver alcohol education program. Most First Offense OUI cases result in a Continuance Without a Finding. An Alternative Disposition, which is what this type of probationary period is called, will require 45 to 90 days of losing your license as well. This is not an option if the accident results in serious injury or the death of a person.
Recognizing the Risks—How Do You Handle Getting an OUI on Christmas?
It's critical to know your rights. In Massachusetts, the police are not required to have a chemical test to prove that you were impaired. Rather, they can use field sobriety testing as well as simply observing the way you are driving to charge you with a crime.
That means that if you are given a breathalyzer test, you need to know how to react. First, know that if you refuse, you will face license repercussions for doing so. Breathalyzers are one of the most commonly used tools by the police in OUI prosecutions.
The Implied Consent law in Massachusetts makes it challenging for anyone to refuse this test. If you do refuse it, you will immediately face a long-term suspension of your license. The key problem with these tests is that they are not always accurate.
So, what do you do? It's not always easy to know.
Most of the time, a DUI lawyer will tell you to refuse the Breath Test. There are a couple of reasons for this. If you refuse the test, the prosecution cannot reference that you refused the test, nor can they mention that you were even offered the test. Therefore, you are limiting the evidence that the prosecution has to use against you. You will lose your license for a lengthier period of time, but if you take the test and fail it, it's much harder to defend.
By refusing the breathalyzer test, there is no hard evidence to prove that you were, in fact, under the influence. The prosecution will then have to rely on the subjective observations of police officers, video footage, and witness statements to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating your vehicle under the influence. DUI cases in Massachusetts are worth fighting against simply because the penalties for losing at trial often times mirror the penalties associated with resolving a case with a plea.
How Your Massachusetts OUI Lawyer Can Help
A DUI attorney is one of the most important people to call if you have been arrested for OUI. Working with a skilled Massachusetts OUI attorney helps to protect you from making incriminating statements or taking other missteps when facing DUI charges. With the help of a local DUI attorney, you may be able to prove in a court of law that you don't deserve the penalties DUI can bring.
We encourage you to call our Massachusetts DUI lawyer today. Let us discuss with you what your options are. Having a top DUI lawyer by your side can help to minimize your risks of mistakes that could be costly to you. Call us now, 24/7, for a free consultation: +5089304273. Attorney Joseph Higgins is ready to help you through this difficult case.