If you are facing DUI charges in Massachusetts, you need to understand the potential consequences you face. Police departments throughout the South Shore are regularly looking for persons operating under the influence on their roadways. Whether it is your first or your fourth OUI offense, you will want an experienced OUI Defense attorney to help you navigate the process. Here are some of the possible penalties that your DUI Attorney will help you try to avoid.
1. Loss of License
In Massachusetts, losing your license and the right to drive is one of the most impactful consequences of OUI charges, and you could face this penalty with even your first OUI offense. If you are found guilty, you face a one-year license suspension. It is possible to have this driver's license suspension shortened to 45 to 90 days, but any days without your license can drastically impact your livelihood. In some instances, you can apply to receive a Hardship License during your suspension. If you took the Breath Test and generated a .15 BAC or greater, the RMV will require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device as a precondition to obtaining a Hardship License.
The length of time you lose your license increases if you have subsequent OUI charges. For a second offense DUI, the statutory license loss is two years. For a third offense DUI, it increases to eight years. If you are found guilty of your fourth DUI, expect to lose your license for 10 years. After a fourth offense, you could have your license suspended for the rest of your life. These statutory suspensions are in addition to any suspension you may already have for refusing the Breath Test.
2. Costly Fines
You work hard for your money, and the last thing you want to do is pay it to the state for a DUI charge. Yet the fines for a DUI are quite steep. They range from $500 to $5,000 for a first DUI charge to as much as $50,000 for a fifth offense. In addition, you will pay a fee to have your suspended license reinstated. The cost to hire a Massachusetts OUI attorney is well worthwhile in light of these potential fines.
3. Jail Time
Probably the most significant consequence of an OUI is the possibility of jail time. Massachusetts law calls for “minimum mandatory” jail sentences for all offenses greater than a First Offense. For example, a Second Offense calls for a minimum of 30 days behind bars. While there is an Alternative Disposition available to Second Offenders that would allow them to avoid jail time, the law technically requires a minimum of 30 days in jail. Subsequent DUI charges come with more potential jail time, up to five years for a fifth offense DUI charge.
4. Employment Consequences
Some of the consequences of a DUI are not written in Massachusetts law, but they can have far-reaching effects. You may find it difficult to get a job after breaking the state’s drinking and driving laws. The misdemeanor or felony charges on your record will show up on a background check, and your potential employer could use that as a reason for hiring someone else. If you are already employed, it is possible to get fired for DUI charges, especially if your job requires you to drive or operate heavy equipment. Losing your license could make it difficult to get to work and from work.
Fight Your DUI Charges with Professional Help
With the potential consequences of a DUI charge, you need to protect yourself from financial loss, employment loss, and license loss. Attorney Joseph Higgins is a qualified Massachusetts DUI lawyer with a strong reputation of success on the South Shore. He only practices OUI defense law. With over 100 five-star reviews, he is a top DUI lawyer that you can trust. Attorney Joseph Higgins knows what it takes to protect your rights, so you can have the best chance of a “not guilty” verdict or getting your case dismissed.
Don’t go into this process without proper representation. Reach out to Attorney Higgins for a free case evaluation today. Call 24/7 for a free consultation: tel:+5089304273