After being charged with a DUI/OUI in Massachusetts, you may have many questions. In order to get the most up-to-date and accurate information for your case, it is best to speak with a lawyer about your individual circumstances. By calling Doran & Doran, P.C., at 508-653-1761 you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. The sooner you get in touch, the stronger your defense will be as many pieces of evidence that could be collected to help your case are time-sensitive. Below are some common questions about what happens after being charged with a DUI/OUI, but always consult with an attorney before making any decisions about your defense strategy.
Will My License Be Suspended?
Even if it is your first OUI conviction, you may have your license suspended. The length of the suspension depends upon how many OUI convictions are on your record. By failing the breath test, your license is immediately suspended for 30-45 days if it is your first offense, though entering into a plea before that period is over may allow you to apply for a hardship license that would allow you to drive for work, education or medical purposes only.
What Is A Hardship License?
A hardship license is available for people who have had their license suspended because of an OUI, however due to the nature of their work, medical needs or education need to drive a vehicle. In order to qualify for a hardship license you must show there is no alternative transportation available and document what the educational, employment or medical needs are. You also must enroll in an alcohol education program.
What If I Refused The Breath Test?
If you refused the Breathalyzer test, your license may be suspended for up to six months, even if you have no other convictions. This ruling can be appealed with the RMV, but it is suggested you work with an attorney to ascertain the best approach for your case.
What If I Failed The Field Sobriety Test?
The reality is that police reports that show failed results are often misleading. By working with an attorney, you may find that your test results are better than you thought. Field tests are based on observation and opinion, and therefore open to interpretation much more than a breath test. Some officers don’t perform tests correctly, make the instructions confusing, or any other myriad of issues. Just because you “failed” the field test, you still can have a strong defense case.
What If I Failed The Breath Test?
You can still win your case even if you failed a breath test. There are a number of rules and regulations that must be followed in order for a Breathalyzer test to be admissible in court. You should have been subjected to a 15-minute observation period and must prove that this was observed. The machine also requires certification and testing to prove it is accurate, and sometimes you may have been tested with a faulty machine, poorly maintained machine, or the certification records could be expired. You may also have a medical defense, the machine can have a margin of error, and you may have been unlawfully stopped by officers before the test was administered. The best way to know if your case has a good defense is to speak with an attorney today.