Massachusetts Drunk Driving Attorney
Experienced Defense for Charges of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
If you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence (“OUI”) of Alcohol or Drugs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, contact Riccio Law to speak with an experienced OUI defense attorney. Riccio Law represents individuals throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts charged with OUI-Liquor and OUI-Drugs and has over an 80% acquittal rate at trial.
Why Hire Riccio Law?
A former prosecutor in Bristol County, attorney Anthony Riccio prosecuted hundreds of OUI cases and gained invaluable experience going up against some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state. As a defense lawyer, Anthony has represented individuals facing charges ranging from OUI-Liquor, 1st Offense to OUI-Drugs, 4th Offense and OUI-Liquor, 4th Offense and has over an 80% acquittal rate at trial. Anthony has obtained Not Guilty verdicts after trial where clients were involved in a car accident, driving erratically, failed the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, and admitted to drinking.
How does Riccio Law handle OUI/DUI cases in Massachusetts?
At Riccio Law, we take an aggressive approach to defending individuals facing OUI/DUI charges in Massachusetts. By filing motions to preserve evidence, discovery motions, motions to dismiss and suppress, and motions in limine, we pursue all avenues of defense with the goal of getting the charges dismissed or limiting the amount of admissible evidence and obtaining a Not Guilty verdict at trial. Whether it’s through a dismissal or a victory at trial, the goal always remains the same: beat the charges / case.
Why choose Riccio Law when charged with OUI/DUI in Massachusetts?
As a former prosecutor, Founding Attorney Anthony R. Riccio has handled hundreds of OUI/DUI cases during the course of his career and has a nearly 85% acquittal rate as lead defense counsel at trial on OUI cases in Massachusetts. Attorney Riccio has obtained Not Guilty verdicts at trial involving charges of OUI-Liquor, 4th Offense, OUI-Drugs, 4th Offense, and OUI-Liquor, 3rd Offense where the defendant registered over a .30% on the breathalyzer.
At Riccio Law, we have won multiple OUI/DUI trials with clients involved in motor vehicle accidents that were observed by police displaying signs of intoxication. In a case where a client struck another vehicle while driving the wrong way and registered a blood alcohol level nearly three times above the legal limit, Attorney Riccio successfully argued against the issuance of criminal charges during a Magistrate’s Hearing due to a violation of the No-Fix statute.
Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws
Although commonly referred to as “drunk driving,” the Government is not required to prove that an individual charged with OUI-Liquor was “drunk.” To convict a person of OUI, the Government must prove three elements:
- That the person operated a motor vehicle,
- On a public way,
- While under the influence of alcohol (or drugs).
To prove an individual is “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs, the Government needs to demonstrate that one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. In addition to securing a conviction by establishing a person’s blood alcohol content (“BAC”) was at or above the legal limit of .08%, an individual can also be found guilty of OUI without a breath test or blood sample, if the Government can establish, circumstantially, that their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. Several factors can be considered to determine whether one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired, including but not limited to:
- the odor of alcohol,
- bloodshot and glassy eyes,
- slurred speech,
- being unsteady on one’s feet,
- observations of motor vehicle infractions, and
- failed field sobriety tests.
Can You Refuse Sobriety Tests or Breath Alcohol Tests in Massachusetts?
Although the police will not inform an individual that he or she is not required to perform field sobriety tests, you have the right to refuse those tests and that refusal cannot be used as evidence against you during trial. You also have the right to refuse the breath test and no evidence of that refusal may be introduced at trial. However, in Massachusetts, there is an automatic driver’s license suspension for a breath test refusal. If you are 21 years of age or older and charged with OUI for the first time, a breath test refusal results in an automatic license suspension of 180 days. If you do take the breath test and fail, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days.
Should You Take a Plea if Charged with Drunk Driving / OUI?
While it is important to keep your criminal record clean, a trial may not always be the smart choice if you have been charged with OUI. There are options available in Massachusetts, particularly on 1st offense charges, which an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate on your behalf. Generally, a plea deal that allows for an individual to avoid a criminal conviction for OUI will include a 45 to 90 day loss of license and a requirement to complete the 24D Program.
Massachusetts DUI Law FAQ's
The cost of a DUI lawyer in Massachusetts may differ from lawyer-to-lawyer and often depends on the specific charges, including whether the DUI/OUI is a subsequent offense. At Riccio Law, we will quote you a fee for your case after reviewing a copy of the Criminal Complaint and police report(s).
Yes. In Massachusetts, charges of Operating Under the Influence (OUI/DUI) are taken seriously by prosecutors and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and carry the potential for serious penalties, including jail time, probation, conditions to remain alcohol and/or drug-free, and lengthy driver’s license suspensions / revocations.
An experienced attorney can evaluate your case, explore possible defenses, and implement defense strategies at a level an individual representing his/herself cannot. Although it’s not cheap to hire a MA DUI lawyer, representing yourself will almost certainly cost more in the long run.
Although an individual is unlikely to serve jail time for a first offense OUI/DUI in Massachusetts, the maximum penalty is 2 ½ years in jail / house of correction. While an individual may still avoid serving time after a second offense conviction, the maximum penalty increases for each subsequent OUI/DUI charge, including mandatory minimum sentences after guilty findings for third offense and higher.
In Massachusetts, first offense and second offense OUI/DUI are both misdemeanor charges. However, third offense OUI/DUI charges and higher are felonies and all carry mandatory minimum sentences.
In Massachusetts, police may charge an individual with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUI-Drugs) when they have evidence to believe the person is under the influence of a controlled substance other than alcohol. In some cases, police may charge an individual with both OUI-Liquor and OUI-Drugs if they have reason to believe the person has consumed alcohol and narcotics, including prescription medications.
Yes, however the charges may be difficult to prove at trial. Nevertheless, police may charge an individual with OUI-Drugs if there is evidence the driver took a prescribed medication that is considered a controlled substance. While it is not illegal to drive after taking prescription medication, it is illegal to operate a motor in Massachusetts after taking prescription medication if the medication impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
While it is unlikely that an individual’s blood alcohol level will be above the legal limit in Massachusetts of .08% after one standard alcoholic drink (i.e.,12 oz. beer, shot, glass of wine), a single drink of alcohol affects everyone differently and may still result in OUI-Liquor charges. In Massachusetts, the prosecution does not have to prove an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit for an arrest or a guilty at trial. An individual can be charged with and convicted of OUI-Liquor in Massachusetts if their ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by their consumption of alcohol, even if it was only one drink in one hour.
No, field sobriety tests are not mandatory in Massachusetts. Additionally, your refusal to do field sobriety tests cannot be introduced as evidence against you at trial.
NOTE: police in Massachusetts are not required to inform you that field sobriety tests are optional (and will not do so).
No. In Massachusetts, the legal limit is .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) for individuals operating a motor vehicle. However, you can still be charged with, and convicted of OUI/DUI in Massachusetts when your blood alcohol level is below the .08% legal limit.
Massachusetts Former Prosecutor Defending Your Legal Rights
Being convicted of OUI can result in serious consequences so it is important to contact an experienced attorney if you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.
Call Riccio Law today at (508) 226-4500 or (857) 526-7091 for a free consultation.