After being arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, the most important decision you’ll make is the attorney you select to defend you. This isn’t so simple as typing in “OUI lawyer near me” on Google and going with whatever firm pops up. It’s critical that you vet and cross-reference the available options until you’re sure you’ve got the right Massachusetts OUI lawyer for the job.
So how do you find a lawyer in Massachusetts that’s the perfect choice for your location and the facts of your case? Here are four tips to help you out:
1. Select a lawyer who practices OUI law exclusively.
General criminal defense lawyers may have some experience handling OUI cases, but they won’t be immersed in the constantly shifting landscape of Massachusetts OUI law.
For instance, recent legal action on the Draeger Alcotest 9510 (the only breathalyzer used by law enforcement in the Commonwealth) could render your test results invalid if you’re among the 27,000 folks convicted of OUI in Massachusetts between June 2011 and April 2019. The state sent out notices to everyone in this group that they might be “entitled to have those convictions vacated as a result of improperly calibrated breath test machines — and efforts by now-former state officials to hide the true scope of the problem.”
You’ll be in the best possible position to defend yourself with a Massachusetts OUI lawyer who studies the nuances of Massachusetts OUI law constantly and works with OUI charges exclusively.
2. Find a lawyer in Massachusetts that practices in your area.
The best OUI lawyer for cases in Middlesex county court, for example, will have a demonstrated record of success in cases that were tried in the Middlesex district court system. Only a local attorney will enter the case understanding local courtroom procedures and expectations (and familiarity with the legal perspectives of local judges). While the letter of Massachusetts OUI law is the same in any county, local protocols and court procedures may differ slightly between counties and District Attorneys offices.
You might try resources such as the ones listed here by Mass.gov to find a lawyer in Massachusetts that knows your area well.
3. Try a lawyer referral service.
Regional bar associations (professional groups for attorneys) or non-profits may have a referral service available to help you find a lawyer in Massachusetts. You might try the bar associations for each of the Massachusetts counties:
- Essex County Bar Association
- Middlesex County Bar Association
- Barnstable County Bar Association
- Norfolk County Bar Association
- Worcester County Bar Association
- Hampden County Bar Association
- Hampshire County Bar Association
Or, if you don’t find a Massachusetts lawyer via those pages, there are other city, state, and national bar associations, such as the ones below, that could help:
4. Vet each lawyer’s ratings, testimonials, and case history.
You’ll want to find a lawyer in Massachusetts who has a seasoned record of success. For instance, Attorney Joe Higgins has a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo and was given a “Rising Star” distinction that Super Lawyers reserves for just 2.5% of all attorneys in Massachusetts.
Fines and legal fees are one-time costs associated with the case. But an OUI conviction on your driving record or criminal record never goes away. Only the very best legal counsel will do when it comes to constructing your defense. Once you’ve found the right lawyer in Massachusetts to work with, don’t hesitate—book a consultation and get started immediately.