Second Offense OUI in Atleboro & Quincy
Although unlikely to face any jail time after a conviction for 1st offense OUI/DUI, a second offense OUI in Massachusetts involves much tougher penalties and carries a greater likelihood of committed jail time. In Massachusetts, individuals are charged with 2nd offense OUI if they have one prior conviction for OUI/DUI or previously received a continuance without a finding (“CWOF”) for first offense OUI. A conviction for 2nd offense OUI in Massachusetts results in a minimum sixty-day jail sentence, however judges have the discretion to impose an alternative sentence.
In cases where the judge does not order jail time, the minimum sixty-day sentence will likely be suspended and the defendant ordered to attend and complete a 14-day inpatient treatment program. If the first offense was more than ten years prior, defendants are eligible to receive a first offense 24D plea deal in what is often referred to as a Cahill disposition. If the first offense was within ten years of the subsequent offense the defendant is not eligible for the first offender 24D disposition.
Potential Penalties for Massachusetts Second Offense OUI
Although second offense OUI in Massachusetts is still considered a misdemeanor, the penalties for a guilty finding are severe. The potential penalties for individuals found guilty of 2nd offense OUI under Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) Chapter 90 Section 24(1)(a)(1) include:
- Jail time
A jail sentence ranging from 60 days – 2 ½ years. An individual may be able to avoid jail time and have the sentence suspended in exchange for attending and completing a 14-day inpatient treatment program. Factors considered include, but are not limited to: the evidence in the case, whether it is a plea bargain or trial verdict, the age of the prior OUI offense, and the defendant’s prior criminal record.
Fines may be imposed by the court ranging from $600 – $10,000.
- Driver’s license suspension
2-year license loss
- Ignition Interlock Device
A requirement to install an ignition interlock device as a condition of reinstating your license.
Second Chance First Offense (“Cahill Disposition”)
Typically, a second offense OUI calls for much stricter penalties than the initial offense. However, if the second offense happened more than ten years after the first offense, the court may treat it as a first offense OUI in what is commonly referred to as a Cahill disposition after the decision in Commonwealth v. Cahill, 442 Mass. 127 (2004).
Individuals eligible for a Cahill disposition are permitted to receive the same penalties imposed after a first offense. As such, these individuals should not receive a jail sentence or be required to attend the 14-day inpatient treatment program. Additionally, the offender is eligible for a hardship license immediately but will be required to install an ignition interlock device as a condition of reinstatement.
Potential Defenses for Second Offense OUI in Massachusetts
Going to trial is often the best option for individuals charged with second offense OUI in Massachusetts because of the harsh penalties, including the potential for jail time and a lengthy license suspension.
- Challenging the legality of the motor vehicle stop and/or arrest prior to trial with a motion to suppress can be an effective strategy. There may be an argument the police lacked reasonable suspicion to effectuate a traffic stop or there was a lack of probable cause to arrest. If successful, the evidence may be suppressed and excluded from use at trial potentially resulting in a dismissal.
- In cases where the defendant took the breathalyzer, a skilled OUI/DUI lawyer may be able to get the breath test results suppressed and excluded from evidence at trial by arguing the breath test operator failed to comply with the 15-minute observation period required by M.G.L. c. 90 §24K and 501 C.M.R. §2.13(3).
- At trial, contesting the officer’s opinion regarding the weight of the field sobriety tests and whether the tests can prove an individual is impaired or operating under the influence.
- Arguing the evidence at trial failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant was impaired or operating under the influence (i.e., his/her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was reduced due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs).
The facts and evidence in every OUI/DUI case are different and a defense that is available in one case may not be effective in another. A skilled and experienced Massachusetts DUI lawyer will understand which defenses to pursue and when.
Contact a Massachusetts Second Offense DUI/OUI Attorney
If you are in Massachusetts and facing a second offense OUI charge, at Riccio Law we fight to protect and defend your rights. We employ the best defense strategies to get you a favorable outcome on your case. Founder / Lead Attorney Anthony R. Riccio has a nearly 85% success rate at trial as lead defense counsel on OUI/DUI cases. Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.