drunk driving cases - massachusetts
There are no criminal cases more common for “non-criminals” than drunk driving cases. The news has vilified most drunk-drivers in Massachusetts as the weekly and monthly news of another Massachusetts State Trooper hit by an alleged drunk driver hits the airwaves. Right now, it is not good to be an alleged drunk driver in the Commonwealth. You need an advocate who understands the law, and who can explain your case and your position to the District Attorney’s Office, and to the Judge.
As an experienced Drunk Driving Attorney, Anthony Rao, will guide you in the right direction. I will advocate on your behalf from the minute I am retained to represent you. I will immediately contact the District Attorney’s Office to obtain any and all documentation the District Attorney’s Office has on your case. I will keep in touch with you daily as to the status of your case, and will explain to you in plain English what are options are, and what is best for you and for getting your life back together.
Have you been charged with drinking and driving? Call Attorney Anthony Rao today.
Drunk Driving Laws in Massachusetts:
While the term “DUI” is a popular acronym for drinking and driving, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts refers to this criminal act as an “OUI” or Operating Under the Influence. If you or someone you know has recently been arrested for an OUI in Massachusetts, you will want to understand the laws and the penalties that follow. Do not let the news and headlines fool you, Massachusetts is tough on drunk driving.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a person may be charged with OUI if they provide a chemical test to police and their blood alcohol content is found to be .08% or higher. While you have the constitutional right to refuse the breathalyzer test, if you do refuse the test you will automatically lose your license for 6 months if it is your first offense. Further, if you refuse the breathalyzer test the Commonwealth will still charge you with an OUI, and the Commonwealth will use any other evidence against you to convict you at trial.
For example, a witness may have witnessed your driving, or the police officer would have made certain observations upon approaching you in your motor vehicle, and of course the infamous field sobriety tests will be used against you. In any event, all of these little pieces of evidence will be used against you to convince a jury or the trial judge that you are guilty of operating under the influence.
The penalties for an OUI vary depending upon whether or not it is your first OUI offense. If it is your first OUI offense you may be tempted to take what is called a “24D Disposition.” This would involve accepting a plea agreement from the Commonwealth that allows you to obtain a hardship license in approximately one week. You would also have to pay monthly fines to the probation office, complete 16 weeks of alcohol-abuse related classes, and attend some other court ordered seminars such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers or Brains At Risk. While a “24D Disposition” is very common, it is not something that is advisable in all cases. Further, depending upon the facts of your particular case, it might not be something that is offered by the Commonwealth. I will look at the totality of the circumstances in your case, understanding your work situation, your current needs and goals, and what you want and value most. This is a traumatic event, and I will be there to provide support and legal counsel at every step of the way.
If this is not your first offense, going to trial or attempting to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds is probably the most sound advice a lawyer could give you. As you can imagine, the penalty for a Second OUI Offense and beyond are substantial. Anyone is needs a driver’s license for taking their children to school, or to go to work would not want to accept a plea of guilty even if is only your second offense. The penalties are life-changing. However, there are many ways to win a case at trial, and even more importantly, there are ways to get case thrown out long before trial.
For example, there are many legitimate due process arguments, and Constitutional protections you have as a defendant, under the United States and Massachusetts Constitutions. Further, there are other evidentiary defenses, and police and legal procedures that must be followed before the state can convict anyone of a crime. If these rules, regulations, and constitutional rights are not followed, you could have a chance to get the case dismissed before trial.
Finally, even if your case does go to trial, it does not mean you will lose. The burden of proof is upon the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of operating under the influence of alcohol. This is a high burden to meet. In other words, if a judge or a jury think you did it, but cannot say with certainty that you did it, under the law that judge or jury must come back with a verdict of not guilty. Having committed a crime and being found guilty under the law are two different and distinct creatures. This is an adversarial system. The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. We will fight the evidence. We will fight the credibility of the witnesses. We will cross-examine the police officers vigorously. We will do everything and anything with the ethical limits of law to put on a great, solid and cohesive defense.
Drunk Driving Charges does not have to ruin your reputation or your life. You have rights. Call Attorney Anthony Rao today.