Do You Have The Option To Refuse A Breath Or Blood Test In An OUI Or DUI Case Or Investigation In Massachusetts? What Are The Consequences If You Refuse?
A driver always has the ability to refuse any test in Massachusetts. You can refuse the field sobriety tests that the officer asks you to do outside of your car when he stops you. You can also refuse the breath test that the officer offers you on the side of the road, known as the portable breath test (PBT). You especially have the right to refuse the breath test back at the station, which is the official breath test. That is to say you have the right to refuse, but that doesn’t mean nothing will happen. Whether or not people realize it, when you get a license in Massachusetts, you sign a contract with the RMV and the state indicating that you will never refuse a breath test. By refusing it, you violate that contract. As a result, they will suspend your license, and it’s a pretty lengthy suspension period for a first offense OUI if you refuse the breath test. This happens before you ever go to court. Technically, you haven’t even been charged yet, and you lose your license for six months.
Remember, there’s no way to get a hardship license until after the case resolves. If you’re going to litigate the case, that can easily take a year or more. You will end up serving six months of a license suspension. Then, the punishment for a first offense OUI is a 45-day loss of license. That’s something else to keep in mind. If you refuse the breath test in an OUI or DUI charge, you get a suspension of six months, then go to court and take your continuance without a finding. The 45 days does not substitute the six months, it gets added on to the backend. Therefore, you end up serving a seven-and-a-half-month license suspension.
I Know I Was Drinking And Driving. I Just Want To Plead Guilty And Get My Case Over With. Do I Really Need A DUI Or OUI Attorney To Do That?
The bottom-line is that a plea of not guilty is automatically entered for you in an OUI or DUI case. The fact that there is a CWOF or Continuance Without a Finding in a OUI or DUI case is clear proof that there are other options available than pleading guilty. Pleading guilty is the decision of the client, but it is never a decision that should be made alone. It is never a decision that should be made without speaking to an attorney first. There are usually things that can be done. Whether it be litigating the case to a favorable end, or helping out with specifics in the case to mitigate the circumstances, there are other options.
For instance, you could get a first offense OUI or DUI charge on a Saturday, be in court on Monday, and be driving by Friday. That’s not easily done, but it is not impossible. Without knowing what you’re walking into, there’s no way you can do that without first calling an attorney. An attorney will know exactly what to do and what you should agree to. They’ll make sure that you’re signed up for what you have to sign up for before you walk into the RMV on Friday.
If the average Joe is left to their own devices, that week-long span of what some people consider to be hell, could go on for a month or more. They won’t have a license, know what’s going on, and won’t know if they’re doing the right thing. The biggest things an attorney offers is security, stability, and foresight. I always tell my clients: “I can’t promise you any outcome, that goes against ethics. I can’t do that, but I can promise you that you’ll never be surprised by what happens.”
For more information on OUI Charges In Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 718-5550 today.
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