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Law Office Of James M. Caramanica, P.C.

How Does Massachusetts Define OUI Charges?

In Massachusetts, Operated Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor is outlined in chapter 90, sec. 24 of our laws. (Another common offense is Operating under the Influence of Drugs.) Operating Under the Influence of Liquor is essentially proven under two different theories: a person can violate the law by operating a motor vehicle while impaired from consuming an intoxicating liquor (the impaired theory) or by operating a motor vehicle while they have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater (the per se theory). A person does not have to be fall down or black out drunk to be convicted of OUI. All it takes is that a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safety is impaired or reduced due to the consumption of intoxicating liquor…Read More

What Errors in Police Procedures During the Investigation and Arrest Will My OUI Defense Attorney Look for to Help My Case?

When you speak with an OUI or defense attorney about an OUI case, it’s really important to give a thorough background of the day’s activities leading all the way up to the time of the initial stop by the officer. One of the first things attorneys look at is whether there was a legitimate basis for the stop, so you’ll want to give information on the following: Were there witnesses with you who can describe how the stop happened? How did the stop happen? Were you traveling in excess of the speed limit or in accordance with the speed limit? Where did the stop happen? The location is important so that the attorney or an investigator can travel to the roadway to examine lighting conditions and see if there are any defects in the road, and also to see if the conditions are as described by the officer…Read More

Also Serving Clients in Fall River

Being arrested for operating under the influence can cause a tremendous disruption to your family life and employment. Whether it is a first-offense DUI or a subsequent one, you need to know your options and what to expect before you make any decisions about how to handle your case. The Law Office of James M. Caramanica, P.C. can help. With decades of experience, our Attleboro DUI/OUI defense lawyer has the in-depth knowledge and insights to help you secure a favorable outcome for your future.

“Arrested for DUI? Call now or contact our firm online for a free consultation about how to defend yourself from a conviction.”

First Offense DUI in MA

First DUI offense consequences can include:

  • One-year probation
  • Fees and fines of around $1,380
  • An additional license suspension of 45-90 days

You may be eligible for a hardship license, which is a 12-hour license seven days a week. Should you decide to retain our services, we will help you get a hardship license. If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), your driving privileges will be revoked for one year.

Subsequent DUI Offense in MA

The standard first offender disposition includes a continuance without a finding (CWOF) sentence, which is a non-conviction that results in your probation for a defined period of time. If you successfully complete this period, the case is dismissed. If you are charged with another DUI—even if the first case is dismissed after a CWOF—the RMV will still treat the second arrest and disposition as a subsequent offense.

  • Second-offense DUI:
    • A jail sentence of up to 2.5 years
    • 2-year license suspension
    • Probation with a mandatory 14-day inpatient program
  • Third-offense DUI:
    • License suspension of up to 8 years
    • Jail sentence of up to 150 days
    • Installation of an ignition interlock device
    • Requirement to provide a DNA sample
    • Felony sentencing with a 15-day minimum mandatory sentence in jail
  • Fourth-offense DUI:
    • Jail sentence of at least 1 year
    • Fines of up to $25,000
    • License suspension of up to 10 years
  • Fifth-offense DUI:
    • Jail sentence of at least 2.5 years
    • Fines of up to $50,000
    • Lifelong license suspension

Things to Know About Your License

If you refused to take the breath test and this is a first offense, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for 180 days. If you have taken the breath test with a reading of .08 percent or above, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will take your license for 30 days.

Breath Test Refusal Suspensions

If you refused a breath test, you are entitled to a hearing to challenge your refusal suspension. This is an important hearing for you, and you only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to appeal. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles does not give work or daytime licenses for breath test refusal or breath test failure suspensions—you either get the license back completely or not at all.

The first step is at the RMV, where a brief hearing is conducted. The hearing is frequently denied, but asking for onE is a necessary step in the procedure. Assuming the RMV denies the hearing appeal, the second step is to petition the district court where you were arraigned to reverse the Registrar’s decision. An aggressive attorney is important at this stage.

The appeal is somewhat technical in nature. When you were brought back to the police station after your arrest, the officer should have completed some forms according to procedures set forth by the Registrar. Sometimes, this paperwork is not completed in the proper form or at all. You should not try to this appeal on your own, you need a lawyer who has experience in Massachusetts DUI laws and who knows how the Registry of Motor Vehicles works and what to look for in the forms.

DUI Defense Strategies

You have two options when charged with DUI: Either plea/admit to the charges or fight the case. If you take a plea, you will likely receive a standard first offender’s disposition. Every case is different and you may receive additional conditions of probation that are not listed below.

Being pulled over for impaired driving does not automatically make you guilty of the crime. In many cases, police unlawfully stop drivers in order to make arrests. Our Attleboro criminal defense lawyer has experience with these cases and knows how to best help you.

The Law Office of James M. Caramanica, P.C. can examine:

  • Whether the police had a valid reason to stop your car
  • Whether any statements can be suppressed
  • Whether the police had a valid reason to order you out of your car
  • Whether any field sobriety tests (FSTs) administered to you were given properly
  • If a breathalyzer was given, whether it was administered properly and whether the machine was properly functioning

Subsequent Offender Status

Effective November 30, 2002, “Repeat offender” status for drunk driving cases is determined in Massachusetts based on a “Lifetime Lookback.” This means that even if you had two OUI/DUI/DWI convictions 30 years ago, they will count against you. A previous CWOF with an assignment to an alcohol education program will count as a first offense. Additionally, if you have been charged with an out-of-state offense with a Massachusetts driver’s license, you may also be treated as a subsequent offender.

Even if a court considers you a first or second offender in a Lifetime Lookback type of situation, the RMV is not bound by the court’s classification of you. For instance, if you are charged with a first offense even though you had two prior DUI convictions in Massachusetts or another state that were over 10 years old, the RMV will likely consider your conviction a third offense and suspend your license as such.

James Caramanica

Time Is Of The Essence.
Call Us Now To Get Started
(508) 503-6440