Quincy DUI Lawyer
In Massachusetts, OUI/DUI is one of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in the state courts and typically prosecuted in district court. Massachusetts has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country, with the courts and Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) imposing harsher penalties for subsequent offenses. While jail is unlikely for first offense OUI/DUI, a conviction will result in probation, significant fines and fees, required attendance at alcohol education classes, and a driver’s license suspension / revocation.
If you are in Quincy, MA, and facing OUI/DUI charges, contact our knowledgeable and experienced Quincy OUI/DUI lawyers at Riccio Law. We will guide you through the complex legal process and aggressively defend your rights. We have successfully handled OUI cases in Quincy and all throughout the Commonwealth, including charges involving failed breathalyzer tests and erratic operation. With an in-depth knowledge of the court process and Massachusetts OUI laws, Riccio Law employs the best defense strategies with the goal of winning your case at trial.
Massachusetts OUI/DUI Laws
For an individual to be convicted of OUI/DUI in Massachusetts, the prosecution must prove the defendant 1) operated a motor vehicle on a public way and their ability to operate the vehicle safely was impaired due to the consumption of alcohol and/or other intoxicating substances, or 2) operated a motor vehicle on a public way with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.
Although the legal BAC limit of .08% applies to all motorists in the Commonwealth, individuals under the age of 21 face administrative penalties from the RMV if they have a BAC of 0.02% or higher. For commercial vehicle drivers, a BAC of 0.04% or greater may jeopardize their CDL license.
While you should be respectful to the police, you are not required to participate in the Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s), answer the officer’s questions, or submit to the breathalyzer. However, Massachusetts is an implied consent state meaning if you are arrested for OUI/DUI in the Commonwealth you are deemed to have consented to a chemical test / the breathalyzer. Although it is not a crime to refuse the breathalyzer in Massachusetts, there is an administrative penalty in the form of a license suspension for refusing to take it. However, refusing to do field sobriety tests and/or the breathalyzer cannot be used as evidence against you during trial.
Individuals charged with first offense OUI that refuse the breath test will have their Massachusetts driver’s license or driving privileges in the state suspended for 180 days. The license suspension for a breath test refusal increases with each subsequent offense. An individual’s license will be suspended for thirty (30) days if he/she submits to the breath test and their BAC is .08% or greater.
OUI/DUI Penalties in Quincy
In Massachusetts, the penalties for an OUI conviction increase with each subsequent offense. Generally, defendants charged with first offense OUI/DUI have an opportunity to avoid a conviction by admitting to sufficient facts (aka “CWOF”) in a 24D disposition / plea agreement pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 90, Section 24D. In some cases, defendants charged with second offense OUI/DUI may also be eligible for an alternative disposition.
Potential penalties for an OUI/DUI conviction include:
First offense OUI/DUI in Quincy
- License suspension of up to 1 year. Eligibility for hardship license after 90 days.
- A jail / house of correction sentence of up to 2.5 years or probation.
- Fines ranging between $500 to $5000.
- 24D plea deal / alternative disposition:
- 1-year of supervised probation.
- Attend & complete alcohol education program (24D Program).
- License suspension between 45-90 days. Eligibility for hardship license upon proof of enrollment in 24D Program.
- Probation fees ranging from $600-$780 plus additional fines and costs associated with the 24D Program.
Second offense OUI/DUI in Quincy
- A jail/house of correction sentence ranging from 60 days to 2.5 years
- Alternative Disposition:
- 2 years supervised probation
- Attend a 14-day inpatient alcohol treatment program.
- License suspension of up to 2 years. Installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
Quincy Third offense OUI/DUI
- Six months – 2.5 years in jail/house of correction or 2.5 years – 5 years state prison. Must serve a minimum mandatory of 150 days before becoming eligible for release.
- A license suspension of up to 8 years.
- Installation of Ignition Interlock Device for additional 2 years after license reinstated.
- Eligible for hardship license after two years.
- Fines between $1,000 and 15,000.
Fourth offense OUI/DUI in Quincy
- Up to 2.5 years in jail/house of correction or up to 5 years state prison. Must serve at least one year before becoming eligible for release.
- License suspension of up to 10 years. Eligibility for hardship license with installation of an IID after 5 years.
- Fines between $1,500 and 25,000.
Possible Defenses to OUI/DUI charges
To obtain a conviction for OUI/DUI, the prosecution must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt: The government must prove the defendant:
- Operated a motor vehicle,
- on a public way,
- with a BAC of .08% or greater or while impaired by alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
While the first two elements are not often contested at trial, an experienced Quincy DUI lawyer will focus on the lack of evidence surrounding the third element: impairment. When there is limited evidence of erratic driving or traffic violations, an effective defense will highlight the fact that the defendant did not have issues driving their car. Although the prosecution heavily relies on evidence of the field sobriety tests at trial, a skilled OUI defense attorney can mitigate the effectiveness and impact of that evidence.
Contact an OUI/DUI Lawyer in Quincy, MA
Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties for OUI/DUI convictions, particularly after the enactment of Melanie’s Law in the early 2000’s. Accordingly, it is crucial to seek the help of a skilled and experienced OUI/DUI defense lawyer to defend your rights and guide you through the legal process. At Riccio Law, we represent individuals in OUI/DUI cases all throughout Massachusetts and use creative defense strategies to obtain the best possible outcome. Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about our services