The typical story goes like this: you are out having fun with friends and enjoying the college experience.
But – you do not know your limits with alcohol, and you have too much to drink. Even worse, you decide to get behind the wheel of a car. When you pulled away from the party or the bar, you thought that you could make it home safely.
However, before you know it, you see red and blue lights and hear the sobering sound of sirens. You get pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. What do you do now?
Facing a criminal charge alone can be an overwhelming experience. If you are charged with OUI, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side to get the best result and protect your future. At McCormack Law, Attorney Ashley McCormack provides clients with an immediate free consultation and will fight for the best outcome in your case.
Contact McCormack Law online for a free case evaluation today if you have been charged with an OUI offense.
What Are the Elements of an OUI Offense?
Although the elements of an OUI offense may seem straightforward, the government must still prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Here is what must be proven:
- the driver was driving a motor vehicle;
- the driver operated a motor vehicle on a public roadway; and
- the driver operated a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol or while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
If you have been charged with an OUI offense, call McCormack Law or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.
What Happens Once I Get Pulled Over?
You get pulled over, and you are terrified. The officer may ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Have you been drinking tonight?”. While you must provide a valid license and registration, you are not required to answer any further questions.
You may be asked to then perform Field Sobriety Tests. These are standardized divided attention tests designed to show police officers cues of intoxication. However, in Massachusetts, you have the right to refuse to perform such tests. What’s more is that your failure to participate in the tests cannot be used against you at trial. Meaning, the prosecutor cannot make a statement in their closing argument to the jury like, “of course the Defendant was drunk, she refused to complete Field Sobriety Testing.”
Some officers may also offer you the ability to blow into a portable breathalyzer test. You should refuse such tests, as these machines have not been found to be reliable and therefore cannot be used against you at trial, but can be used by the officer in determining whether there is probable cause to arrest you. Just like with Field Sobriety Testing, you cannot be compelled to complete the test and your failure to take the test cannot be used against you at trial.
How Can My Life Be Affected by an OUI on My Record?
A criminal conviction of any kind can be life-altering, especially for a college student.
For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer to assess whether a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress can be filed, which could both result in the dismissal of the charge. A lawyer can also advise as to whether the case is likely to be won at trial or whether a first offender plea is a better strategy.
In Massachusetts, OUI convictions cannot be expunged so if you fail to fight the case now, it will stay on your CORI record forever. Future employers may question your ability to act responsibly, and you may lose opportunities that you worked hard to get in college.
In Massachusetts, there is a first offender plea that allows for you to avoid a conviction. Instead, you can enter a one year term of probation known as a “continuation without a finding of guilty” also referred to as a “CWOF.” A first offender plea for OUI in Massachusetts results in a license loss of 45 days from the date of the plea. You are also required to complete the 24D program, which is a 12 week course offered at multiple locations throughout the state. If you complete your probation obligations within one year, your case will appear on your records as a dismissal at the end of your probation.
If you are charged with a first OUI offense, call McCormack Law today.
Call an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
McCormack Law is a criminal defense firm serving clients in Massachusetts in Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable County. Call or visit McCormack Law online to get a free case evaluation and schedule a consultation with Attorney Ashley McCormack.