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Patrick Long Law Firm, PC.

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Patrick Long Law Firm, PC.

The police will pull you over, either because it’s a random checkpoint or because they suspect something. In my neighborhood they like to do the checkpoints on Thursday nights because it’s when people think they’re being sneaky and avoiding the checkpoint that they assume will be on the weekend. They may ask you a few questions. During this time they are making some observations, such as whether your eyes seem normal and whether you have slurred speech. If they still suspect you are under the influence after doing this observation, they will ask you to do the field sobriety tests (“FSTs”). Usually at checkpoints they will direct you to a second officer to do the FSTs. You have a right to refuse to do the FSTs. A refusal will probably not keep you from being arrested, but it will prevent you from potentially giving the police extra evidence which can be used against you in court.

The FSTs are not scientifically validated; they are just a group of tasks that someone decades ago noticed that drunk people are generally worse at than sober people. Many people do poorly for reasons unrelated to intoxication, such as medical issues or limited understanding of English. After you take or refuse the FSTs, they will then ask you to take the portable breathalyzer. You also have a right to refuse this test. After you take or refuse the portable breath test, the officer will make a decision whether to arrest you. If you are not arrested, you are free to go. If you are arrested, you will then be taken to the police station and asked to take the chemical breathalyzer test. Refusal of this test will automatically result in a license suspension of at least 180 days, but taking it will give the police extra evidence to use against you if you are intoxicated.

Afterward you will be processed and booked like any other arrested person, and depending eventually will get a chance to see the bail commissioner and/or be taken to court to see the judge to ask for bail. For more information click here.

What Happens If They’ve Refused A Breath Or Blood Test?

If you refuse the chemical test, your license is automatically suspended. At this point you have already been arrested, so the rest of the process will be the same as if you had taken and failed the test.

What Factors Will Enhance Or Aggravate A DUI/DWI Charge?

Second and subsequent OUIs are more serious offenses than a first OUI. Third and subsequent OUIs are felonies that include mandatory minimum jail times and extremely long loss of license periods. Causing serious injury or death, or OUI with a child under 15 in the vehicle, are also more serious charges. Various other factors such as driving recklessly, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, or leaving the scene of an accident can result in additional charges as well.

What Are The Penalties For A First Time DUI/DWI, 2nd, 3rd, etc.?

The most common result for a first offender is a continuance without a finding (which is an admission to sufficient facts to prove guilt, but does not show up on your criminal record for most purposes, like a guilty plea would), a year of probation, a 45-90-day loss of license (210 days if under 21), and a driver alcohol education course, and fines of about $2000. More serious penalties are possible.

For a second offense more than 10 years after the first, typical penalties would be similar. However, if it was less than 10 years after the first offense, you are not eligible for the first-offense alternative disposition. Instead, the alternative disposition would be 2 years of probation, a 14-day inpatient program during which you are not allowed to leave the program, a two-year license suspension (starting at the conclusion of any license suspension for the chemical test refusal), and an ignition interlock device for at least two years from the time your license is reinstated.

For a third offense, there is a mandatory minimum of 150 days in jail and an 8-year license suspension.

A fourth offense subjects you to a mandatory minimum of two years in the house of correction, up to 5 years in state prison, and a 10-year license suspension (or lifetime if you refused the chemical test).

Fifth and sixth offenses carry mandatory minimums of 2.5 years in the house of correction, lifetime loss of license, and potential forfeiture of your vehicle to the state.

Seventh and eighth offenses carry mandatory minimums of 3.5 years in state prison.

Ninth and subsequent offenses carry a mandatory minimum of 4.5 years.

In most cases what I have listed are the minimums. The maximums are much higher. They may additionally carry other penalties I have not listed, such as fines, alcohol education programs, ignition interlocks, etc. Additionally, the rules for license suspension are complicated and the RMV can often suspend your license administratively for lengths of time beyond those required by the judge or by the law. Aggravated OUIs, such as those with serious injury or with a child in the car, carry additional penalties. Even where there is not a separate charge for aggravating factors, they can influence the judge to impose a harsher sentence.

Are There Alternative Punishments Or Diversion Programs Available For 1st Time DUI/DWI Offenders Such As Home Detention With An Ankle Bracelet, Community Service, Ignition Interlocks?

The most common result for a first offender is a continuance without a finding (which is an admission to sufficient facts to prove guilt, but does not show up on your criminal record for most purposes, like a guilty plea would), a year of probation, a 45-90-day loss of license (210 days if under 21), and a driver alcohol education course, and fines of about $2000. More serious penalties are possible.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling DUI/DWI Cases?

Commitment to getting you the best result possible in your circumstances, and an understanding that every case differs, as do your individual circumstances. Immigration consequences or professional licensing consequences are not decided by the judge and are not factors every lawyer gives proper consideration to.

For more information on Aftermath Of A OUI Stop in Massachusetts, an initial case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.

Patrick Long Law Firm, PC.

Call Now For An Initial Case Evaluation
(617) 718-5550

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