Massachusetts is one of the strictest states when it comes to DUI laws and penalties. Unlike some states, Massachusetts never scrubs DUIs off a person's record. It will stay on record for life.
How Can I Avoid a DUI on My record?
Having a DUI on your record for life could seriously impact your ability to get hired, attend universities or colleges, receive lower car insurance rates, and even drive. However, DUIs only start showing up on record when a driver is convicted or assigned to an alcohol treatment program.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact an experienced defense attorney immediately to avoid having a DUI on your record. Being “charged” with a DUI means that you still have time to defend yourself and avoid being guilty of a DUI. Do not wait until it is too late.
First Offense DUIs
First offense DUIs have a greater chance of staying off your permanent record because it is the first time that you have been charged for driving under the influence. A lawyer can speak on your behalf and represent your best interests in a courtroom.
All cases are different, but an experienced lawyer will work hard to reduce your DUI charge to a less serious charge, allowing it to avoid being permanently placed on your record.
Second Offense OUI/DUI Alternative Disposition
If you have been charged with a 2nd offense OUI/DUI, but your previous charge was more than 10 years ago, you may qualify for the Cahill disposition. This means that 2nd offenders who have not had a previous DUI/OUI charge in over 10 years have a chance to reduce their penalties to that of a 1st offense.
Even with the Cahill disposition, your 2nd offense will still stay on your criminal record in Massachusetts. However, it may result in a lighter probation period as long as the court gives you the 24D program, which involves a one-year probation period, court-ordered substance abuse treatment, and a license suspension of 45 to 90 days.
Can a DUI Affect My Ability to Get a Job?
Although Massachusetts has some of the strictest laws when it comes to DUI/OUI charges, they also protect your rights to apply for a job and help you avoid getting penalized by hiring companies.
In Massachusetts, employers must ask permission to conduct a background check, and they cannot ask about your criminal record or criminal history within your application. Additionally, employers determine your ability to be hired based on the following:
- Arrests without a conviction
- Misdemeanors over 5 years old
- First convictions of minor infractions
- Sealed court records
- Juvenile records
Employers are allowed to ask about felonies and recent misdemeanors (or misdemeanors under 5 years old). Most 1st and 2nd offense DUIs are considered misdemeanors, while 3rd offenses and subsequent are considered felonies.
Are There Any Jobs I Can't Hold Because of My DUI Record?
Licensed professionals may get their license suspended or revoked because of a DUI conviction during the time that they are employed. If you are training to become a licensed professional, a DUI conviction may prevent you from obtaining that license.
Having a DUI on record could prevent you from getting hired in the following job positions:
- Police office
- Healthcare worker
- Public transportation and commercial driver
- Any position working directly with children
- Military positions
- Real estate and insurance agent
- Any position within public office
If you are in the middle of a trial or are awaiting trial, you may still apply for these positions. Under Massachusetts law, you are innocent until proven guilty despite your DUI/OUI charge.
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If you were convicted of a DUI in the state of Massachusetts between 2011 and 2019, you may have a legal case to reopen that case.
According to the Eagle Tribune, more than 27,000 drivers convicted of DUIs between June, 2011 and April, 2019 received notices of improperly calibrated breath test machines during the time they were charged with a DUI.
Contact Gilman Law P.C. if you were convicted of a DUI between 2011 and 2019. Our attorneys can determine if you have a case to get your conviction vacated. During our consultation, we will help you determine what your next legal steps are.