Frequently Asked Questions About License Suspension and OUI

When faced with license suspension, OUI, or other traffic-related charges, many people search online for answers. Attorney Matthew Gilman understands this, and drawing from his extensive legal background and experience working for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, has compiled answers to the questions he hears most often from his clients.

 

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  • I have a Board of Appeal Hearing What Can I Expect

    Drivers all across the Commonwealth receive license suspension letters everyday. Some matters can be resolved quickly at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, while other cases go to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals is an administrative hearing board that has legal authority to overturn or modify any decision issued by the Registrar of Massachusetts. This means they can tell the Registry to reinstate your suspended license.

    1. About the Board

    The Board of Appeals process is a formal scheduled hearing. There are no walk-in hearings before the Board.  The Board at any hearing will consist of three or four individuals. The Attorney Generals Office is represented by up to two designees, the Division of Insurance has one seat and serves as the chairperson and the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has one designee. Also present at any hearing is a Registry of Motor Vehicles Attorney/Representative. It is the role of the Attorney/Representative to present your record and any case in support of the Registry's position.

    2. Getting Before the Board

    As mentioned above, the Board does not take walk-in hearings. To get before the Board Attorney Gilman will file a formal application and appearance. There is also a $50.00 filing fee required to be paid with the application. Once the application package is submitted, it can take several weeks or months for the hearing to be scheduled. The longer your license is suspended the longer the wait time is to get before the Board. 

    3. The Hearing

    Every hearing starts the same way and all are open to the public. The Board will ask you to introduce yourself and spell your last name. Afterwhich, all the Board Members and the Registrars Attorney/Representative will introduce themselve. After everyone has introduced themselves the Board will ask the Registrars Attorney/Representative to present your record and the Registry's position against you. The Registrars Attorney will give to the Board your drivers history, criminal history and any out of state driving issues. If there are any criminal charges associated with the license suspension the Attorney will often provide the Board with copies of all relevant police reports.

    After the Registrars Attorney/Representative has presented their case, you will you have an opportunity to present your case. Every client that goes to the Board with Attorney Gilman will have an individualized memorandum supporting their case with supporting documentation. Moreover, prior to every hearing, Attorney Gilman will have conducted either a telephone conference or inperson conference to prepare his clients as to what they can expect to be asked. It is Attorney Gilman's goal that their be no surprises for his clients.

    4. The Decision

    After the hearing is concluded, you will not know the decision of the Board. The Board will vote in private at the conclusion of all the hearings whether to grant any relief or not. The decision can take anywhere from 7 to 15 or even more days to be received and processed.

    If your license is or will be suspended you need a lawyer in your corner who understands not only how the license suspension process works but how to get you the best relief possible.  Attorney Gilman has successfully represented hundreds of clients from all across the United States at the Board of Appeals. Contact Attorney Gilman today for a Free Case Evaluation.

  • I have been arrested for OUI / DUI what should I do.

    Drivers all across the Commonwealth have felt that sick feeling in their stomach when they see the blue police cruiser lights turn on behind their vehicle. The feeling is even worse when you have been out and may have had a few drinks. Below are some easy to remember steps you should take if you have been stopped and arrested for OUI / DUI:

    1. Have your license and registration in a easy to access location in your vehicle. Do not fumble around with other documents. The police are watching all of your movements to see how in control you are.
       
    2. If you are stopped and the police suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not tell the police anything. When the officer asks you where you are coming from, simply say you wish to remain silent and that you want a lawyer. Make no mention of where you were coming from, what you were doing and what if anything you consumed that night. Be polite but be clear that you wish to remain silent.
       
    3. If the Officer asks you to exit the vehicle to perform some field sobriety tests, respectfully tell the officer that you will not do any of the tests. Many people do not know but you cannot be coerced or forced by the police into trying these road side exercises. Again, be polite but clear with the officer that you will not complete any tests.
       
    4. Do not resist the arrest. Even if you believe you were driving perfectly, do not resist. If you resist it will only make the process worse for you and make defending you more difficult.
       
    5. If the officer elects to arrest you, be calm. When you get to the jail you have an absolute right to make a phone call. You should make sure you are careful with what you say during the phone. You should tell the person where you are being held and whether the bail commissioner is allowing your release. If the commissioner is permitting you release on bail the person bailing you out must bring the full bail amount in cash plus an additional $40.00 to the police station.  

    You will be informed if the bail is posted that you will need to appear in the local district court the next business day. I recommend that you arrive at the court at 8:30 A.M. and report directly to the Probation Department for an intake. If you are charged with DUI / OUI you need a lawyer in your corner who not only is willing to fight for the Not Guilty but understands all the license suspension consequences as well. Attorney Gilman has defended many OUI / DUI cases across the Commonwealth. Contact Attorney Gilman today for a Free Case Consultation.

  • How far back does the Registry of Motor Vehicles Look when calculating OUI / DUI Suspensions?

    The statutory scheme related to license suspensions following OUI / DUI convictions has been amended several times by Massachusetts Lawmakers. Individuals arrested for OUI / DUI need to consider the lookback periods in order to full understand the license suspension consequences. We have prepared a simple chart to show you how the Registry will determine the appropriate lookback period below:
     

    INCIDENT/ARREST DATE LOOKBACK PERIOD
    Present - 11/28/2002 Lifetime Lookback
    05/27/94 - 11/27/02 10- Year Lookback
    Past until - 05/26/94 6-year Lookback


    If you have a current license suspension for OUI / DUI and you believe the Registry of Motor Vehicles has improperly calculated the suspension period, Gilman Law is available to help you. Contact us today for a Free Case Consultation. Gilman Law, P.C., has helped hundreds of clients get their driving privilege reinstated, do not just sit back and assume the Registry of Motor Vehicles is right. Take action today.

  • How far back does the Registry of Motor Vehicles Look when calculating OUI / DUI Suspensions?

    The statutory scheme related to license suspensions following OUI / DUI convictions has been amended on several occassions. Individuals arrested for OUI / DUI need to consider the different lookback periods to fully understand the license suspension consequences. We have prepared a simple chart to show you how the Registry will determine the appropriate lookback period below:

     

    INCIDENT/ARREST DATE LOOKBACK PERIOD
    Present - 11/28/2002 Lifetime Lookback
    05/27/94 - 11/27/02 10- Year Lookback
    Past until - 05/26/94 6-year Lookback

     

    If you have a current license suspension for OUI / DUI and you believe the Registry of Motor Vehicles has improperly calculated the suspension period, Gilman Law is available to help you. Contact us today for a Free Case Consultation. Gilman Law, P.C., has helped hundreds of clients get their driving privilege reinstated, do not just sit back and assume the Registry of Motor Vehicles is right. Take action today.

  • I need to enroll in the 24D Program who can I call.

    If you were found guilty or your case was continued without a finding and the court ordered you to complete the Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) Program there are a number of program providers across the Commonwealth. Below is a list the approved providers. If you need a Hardship License you must be enrolled with one of these providers before applying.

    Alcohol Education Programs of Region 6 – Boston

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Baycove
    100 Everett Ave
    Chelsea, Ma.02150
    Att: Amy Harris

    1st and 2nd

    (617) 884-6829
    fax (617)-884-6018

    Chelsea
    Charlestown
    East Boston

    Boston Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program
    30 Winter Street — 3rd floor
    Boston, MA 02108
    Bruce Macdonald, J.D., Executive Director

    1st and 2nd

    (617) 482-5292
    fax (617)-482-5232

    Suffolk County
    Brookline

    Latin American Health Institute
    95 Berkeley St. Suite 600
    Boston, MA 02116
    Att: Tomas Serrano

    1st

    617 350 6900

    Boston

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 4 – MetroWest

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Center for Addictive Behaviors
    800 West Cummings PK #1200
    Woburn, MA 01801
    Att: Charles Levenitis

    1st and 2nd

    (781) 935-3025
    Fax: (978)935-7805

    Woburn

    Bay State Community Services
    13 Temple St.
    Quincy, MA 02169
    Att: Lenny Mikulski

    1st and 2nd

    (617) 471-8400 x129 or x179
    FAX (617)773-6904

    Hingham
    Dedham
    Stoughton
    Wrentham

    Bay State Community Services
    549 Columbia St
    Weymouth, MA 02190
    Att: Lenny Mikulski

    1st and 2nd

    (617)471-8400 x129 or x179
    FAX (781)331-2246

    Quincy
    Hingham

    Bay State Community Services
    Norwood Office
    19 Central St.
    Norwood, Ma. 02062
    Att: Barry Carr
    (Also offers DAE program services in Franklin)

    1st and 2nd

    (781)-762-0060(617) 471-8400

    NorwoodQuincy

    Centro Latino -Concillio
    105 Windsor Street
    Cambridge, Ma 02139
    Att: Mauricio Rodriquez

    1st and 2nd

    (617) 661-9406
    fax: (617)-661-8008

    Greater Boston Area Courts for Spanish Speaking Clients

    Mt Auburn Prevention and Recovery Center DAE
    Mt Auburn Hospital
    330 Mt. Auburn St.
    Cambridge, MA 02238
    Att: Dot Duda

    1st and 2nd

    (617) 499-5052
    fax: (617)-499-5562

    Somerville
    Cambridge
    Waltham
    Newton

    Spectrum Outpatient DAE
    214 Howard St.
    Framingham, MA 01701
    Att: Maureen Casey

    1st

    (508) 875-5801
    fax: 508-872-8934
    Central Intake for appointments: (800)464-9555X1161

    Framingham

    South Middlesex Opportunity Council
    300 Howard Street
    Framingham, MA 01701
    Att: Tom Jordan (also offers DAE program services in Marlboro)

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 879-2250
    fax:508-620-2637

    Framingham
    Natick
    Marlborough

    Genesis Counseling
    24 Union Avenue Suite #11
    Framingham, Ma. 01701
    Att: William Horne

    1st and 2nd

    508-620-2992fax 508-620-2993

    Framingham

    Advocate’s Community Counseling
    340 Maple St
    Marlborough, MA 01752
    Att: Kerin RaymondAdvocate’s Community Counseling 179 Great Road, Suite 220
    Acton, Ma. 01720
    Att: Kerin Raymond

    2nd only1st

    Call the Ayer Office @ 978-772-1846
    fax:978-772-2364Call the Ayer Office @ 978-772-1846 fax:978-772-2364

    MarlboroughAyer

    Cambridge Health Alliance
    Central Street Health Center, 2nd floor
    26 Central St.
    Somerville, Ma. 02143
    Att: Ana Nava

    2nd

    617-591-6052
    fax: 617-591-6054

    Somerville

    1046 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge, Ma. 02139
    (offers groups in English and Portuguese)
    Att: Antonia Alves

    1st

    617-864-7600617-864-7621

    CambridgeSomerville

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 3 – NorthEast

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Elliot Community Human Services
    173 Chelsea St
    Everett, MA 02149
    Att: Sudipa Deshmukh

    1st and 2nd

    781-388-6226
    fax:617-387-9768

    Chelsea

    American Institute of Addiction
    6 Pleasant St. Suite 520
    Malden, MA 02148
    Att: Chris Devlin
    (Offers DAE program services in Quincy)

    1st and 2nd

    781-324-7447781-324-1570

    Malden

    Center for Addictive Behaviors
    27 Congress Street
    Salem, MA 01970
    Att: Charles Leventis

    1st and 2nd

    (978)745-8890
    fax: 978-741-3104

    Salem
    Lynn
    Peabody

    Health & Education Services
    298 Washington Street
    Gloucester, MA 01930
    ATT: Daniel McManus

    1st and 2nd

    (978)283-0296
    fax: 978-283-2665

    Gloucester
    Ipswich

    HES – Ipswich Site:
    25R Market St.
    Ipswich, MA 01938

     

    (978)356-1776
    (978)356-2822

    Gloucester
    Peabody

    Lowell House
    555 Merrimack Street
    Lowell, MA 01852
    ATT: Dianna Conole

    1st and 2nd

    (978) 459-8656
    fax: 978-937-2559

    Lowell

    Project Cope
    280 Union St, 2nd Flr
    PO Box 390
    Lynn, MA 01902
    Att: Ellin Mehegan

    1st and 2nd

    (781) 581-9270
    fax: 978-581-8413

    Lynn

    The Psychological Center
    11 Union St
    Lawrence, MA 01840
    Att; Nancy Rose Dow

    1st and 2nd

    (978)685-1337
    fax; 978-681-1281

    Lawrence

    Team Coordinating Agency
    66 Winter St.
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    ATT: Ryan Montminy

    1st and 2nd

    (978)373-1181
    fax: 978-374-7605

    Haverhill
    Amesbury
    Newburyport

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 2 – Central

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Spectrum Outpatient Services
    76 Summer St
    Fitchburg, MA 01420
    Att: Maureen Casey (Offers DAE program services in Gardner) Spectrum Outpatient
    200 East Main St.
    Milford, Ma. 01757
    Att: Karen Hewitt / Maureen Casey

    1st and 2nd

    (978)-343-2433 x 6108 fax: 978-343-0791
    Central Intake for appointments (800)464-9555×11611-508-634-1877 fax: 508-634-1875
    Central Intake for appointments (800)464-9555×1161

    Leominster
    Winchendon
    Fitchburg
    Ayer
    Gardner
    Clinton

    Harrington Recovery Services
    176 Main Street
    Southbridge, MA 01550

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 765-2725
    fax: 508-765-2796

    Dudley
    Spencer

    Henry Lee Willis Outpatient Program
    44 Front St.
    Worcester, Ma. 01609
    Att: Dana Bergman

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 753-0321fax: 508-770-1732

    Worcester
    Westboro

    Advocate’s Community Counseling
    11 Depot Square
    Ayer, Ma. 01432
    Att: Kerin Raymond

    1st and 2nd

    978-772-1846
    fax: 978-772-2364

    Ayer

    Community Health Link – Gardner
    10 Parker St.
    Gardner, Ma. 01440
    Att: Lynn LeBlanc-Marrone (Also offers program services in Clinton and Leominster)

    1st and 2nd

    (978)-630-4740
    fax: 978-630-4765

    Gardner

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 1 – West

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    BHN – Sloan Clinic
    417 Liberty St
    Springfield, MA 01105
    Att: Richard McKeown

    1st and 2nd

    Intakes: (413)-301-9326
    fax: 413-846-4806

    Palmer
    Springfield
    Westfield

    Brien Center
    333 East St
    Pittsfield, MA 01201
    Att: Michael McGovern – DAEBrien Center
    25 Marshall St.
    North Adams, Ma. 01247
    Att: Mary Sugden – SOA

    1st and 2nd

    DAE: (413) -499-0412
    fax: 413-499-0979SOA: 413-664-4541 x 1356

    No. Adams
    Pittsfield
    Great Barrington

    Clinical and Support Options
    10 Main Street
    Florence, MA 01060
    Att: Patrice Morhart – DAE Eleanor Cresson – SOA

    1st and 2nd

    (413) -582-0471
    fax: 413-585-9765

    Northampton
    Ware

    ServiceNet
    55 Federal St.
    Greenfield, MA 01301
    Att: Helen Lincoln-White

    1st and 2nd

    413-585-1328
    877-984-6855
    fax: 413-772-3724

    Greenfield
    Orange
    Athol

    Gandara Center
    Criminal Justice Services
    85 St. George Rd.
    Springfield, MA 01104
    Att: Maria Santana

    1st and 2nd

    (413)-732-2120 x 204 / 205
    fax: (413) 732-2125

    Springfield
    Holyoke

    Providence Hospital
    1233 Main Street
    Holyoke, MA 01040
    Att: Mark Paglia

    1st and 2nd

    413-539-2487
    Intakes: 413.539.2973
    Fax: 413-539-2436

    Holyoke
    Chicopee

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 5 – Southeast

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Community Care Services
    140 Park Street
    Attleboro, MA 02703
    Att: Tony Levesque, DAE Bea Medeiros, SOA

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 226-1660 x 213
    fax: (508)-223-4145

    Attleboro

    Gosnold Inc.
    196 Ter Heun Drive
    Falmouth, MA 02540
    Att: Susan Kelley

    1st and 2nd

    508-540-6550 508-548-7118 x 5306 fax: 508-540-4772 Intake fax: 508-862-2710

    Falmouth

    Community Counseling of Bristol County
    1 Washington Street
    Taunton, MA 02780
    Att: Michael Meleedy
    Sean LaFountain

    1st2nd

    (508) -977-8062
    fax: 508-880-7114

    Taunton

    Stanley Street Treatment & Resources DAE
    386 Stanley Street
    Fall River, MA 02720
    Att : Richard Barnett

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 679-5222
    fax: 508-673-3182

    Fall River

    Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
    111 Edgartown Road
    Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
    Att: Tom Bennett

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 693-7900 ext 225
    fax: 508-693-0401

    Edgartown

    High Point
    Plymouth Office
    2 School St
    Plymouth, Ma. 02360
    Att: Conrad Shultz (Offers DAE program services in Wareham)New Bedford Office
    842 Purchase St
    New Bedford, MA 02740Taunton Office
    4 Post Office Square
    Taunton, MA 02780Brockton Office
    30 Meadowbrook Rd.
    Brockton, Ma. 02303

    1st and 2nd

    508-830-1234
    fax: 508-830-1191508-992-1500
    fax: 508-994-0765
    508-823-5291
    fax 508-823-5906508-742-4423
    Fax: 508-742-4430

    PlymouthNew BedfordTauntonBrockton

    Family & Children’s Services of Nantucket
    20 Vesper Lane
    Nantucket, MA 02554
    Att: Peter Swenson

    1st and 2nd

    (508)228-2689
    fax: 508-228-3613

    Nantucket

    Seven Hills Behavioral Health
    1402 Pleasant St
    Fall River, MA 02743

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 679-0962fax: 508-676-5592

    Fall River

    Massachusetts Alcohol Education Programs of Region 5 – Southeast

    Provider

    Programs

    Telephone

    Court

    Community Care Services
    140 Park Street
    Attleboro, MA 02703
    Att: Tony Levesque, DAE Bea Medeiros, SOA

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 226-1660 x 213
    fax: (508)-223-4145

    Attleboro

    Gosnold Inc.
    196 Ter Heun Drive
    Falmouth, MA 02540
    Att: Susan Kelley

    1st and 2nd

    508-540-6550 508-548-7118 x 5306 fax: 508-540-4772 Intake fax: 508-862-2710

    Falmouth

    Community Counseling of Bristol County
    1 Washington Street
    Taunton, MA 02780
    Att: Michael Meleedy
    Sean LaFountain

    1st2nd

    (508) -977-8062
    fax: 508-880-7114

    Taunton

    Stanley Street Treatment & Resources DAE
    386 Stanley Street
    Fall River, MA 02720
    Att : Richard Barnett

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 679-5222
    fax: 508-673-3182

    Fall River

    Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
    111 Edgartown Road
    Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
    Att: Tom Bennett

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 693-7900 ext 225
    fax: 508-693-0401

    Edgartown

    High Point
    Plymouth Office
    2 School St
    Plymouth, Ma. 02360
    Att: Conrad Shultz (Offers DAE program services in Wareham)New Bedford Office
    842 Purchase St
    New Bedford, MA 02740Taunton Office
    4 Post Office Square
    Taunton, MA 02780Brockton Office
    30 Meadowbrook Rd.
    Brockton, Ma. 02303

    1st and 2nd

    508-830-1234
    fax: 508-830-1191508-992-1500
    fax: 508-994-0765
    508-823-5291
    fax 508-823-5906508-742-4423
    Fax: 508-742-4430

    PlymouthNew BedfordTauntonBrockton

    Family & Children’s Services of Nantucket
    20 Vesper Lane
    Nantucket, MA 02554
    Att: Peter Swenson

    1st and 2nd

    (508)228-2689
    fax: 508-228-3613

    Nantucket

    Seven Hills Behavioral Health
    1402 Pleasant St
    Fall River, MA 02743

    1st and 2nd

    (508) 679-0962fax: 508-676-5592

    Fall River

     

  • What is a Hardship License

    Everyday the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) sends out countless license suspension notices. Most notices only provide you with the start date and length of the suspension and vague one setence reason for the suspension.  The notices are bare and do not provide you with anyguidance or information. There are a large number of ways that the Registry can suspend your driving privileges. In fact, you may not even be a Massachusetts Resident or License Holder and the Registry can suspend your privilege to operate in Massachusetts. 

    Depending on the reason for your license suspension you may be eliglbe to apply for a Hardship License at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The Registry only grants relief for individuals suspended for Operating Under the Influnce (first and second offenses) and those suspended as Habititual Traffic Offenders. The Division of Insurance Board of Appeals has much more authority and can grant hardship relief for just about any type of suspension. The Board at this time will not consider granting hardship relief for Chemical Test Refusal (breathalyzer test refusal) suspensions. 

    Whether you are eligible at the Registry or the Board depends a number of factors, such as:

    • Type of Suspension;
    • Length of Suspension;
    • How time has been served; and
    • Is there any evidence that you have operated a vehicle during the suspension period.

    In general a hardship license is license that can be used for any purpose seven days a week but is limited to just twelve (12) hours a day. Most people think of a hardship license as a work license, but once the license is granted, it can be used for any purpose. The most common grounds that a hardship license is granted is for employment, medical and family raising purposes. Attorney Gilman guides his clients through the process to ensure they obtain all the necessary to show the need for the hardship relief.

    If your license or right to operate is suspended, please contact Attorney Gilman for a free case review and consultation. After your free consultations you will have all the answers to your questions and know exactly what steps must be taken in order to get your license and driving privileges reinstated. Having a former hearing officer review your case will ensure you get truthful answers and advice.

  • I have been charged with my first OUI / DUI offense. What are the possible penalties I am facing?

    There may be no more complicated law in Massachusetts than the OUI / DUI laws. The law is long and often requires that you flip back and forth between sections in order to get a complete picture of what is at stake. When we speak about what is at stake, we are not just discussing whether there you could be sent to jail. There are significant consequences related to your drivers license that depend on the outcome of your case. Attorney Gilman is available 24/7 at (978) 612-6447 to speak with you about your case and help you understand all the possible consequences of your case.

    Criminal Penalties: The law does permit the court to sentence individuals who are convicted or plea to a first offense OUI / DUI  to up to 2.5 years in the House of Correction,  a fine between $500.00 to $5000.00 or to do both. However, most first offense OUI / DUI convictions do not result in a jail sentence. Most first offense OUI / DUI convictions or pleas result in the court imposing an alternative resolution that is provided for in Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 90, § 24D.

    24D Alternative Disposition: The most common disposition imposed by courts across the Commonwealth on first offense OUI / DUI cases is the 24D Program. Under the 24D Program, individuals are placed on probation for up to 2 years and ordered to complete the Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) Program. The Driver Alcohol Education Program is a class that meets once a week for sixteen weeks. The weekly meetings are approximately 90 minutes. In addition to the program requirement, the court will suspend your right to operate a motor vehicle for 45 to 90 days. This license suspension will be added on to any suspension you are currently serving for refusing the breath test.

    If you are assigned to the 24D Program there are significant fees and fines that the court will impose. Attorney Gilman has had success in having some of the fees and fines waived but some cannot be waived. 

    • $65 per month Probation Supervision Fee;
    • $250 Head Injury Assessment;
    • $250 24D Program Fee;
    • $50.00 Victims of Drunk Driving Fee;
    • Driver Alcohol Education Program Fee.

    Most courts will require the fees and fines be paid in monthly installments during the probation period.

    License Suspension Consequences: Unless you are assigned to the 24D alternative disposition, you will face a one-year license suspension. By statute, if your license is suspended for one year, you are not eligible to apply for any hardship relief or work license until three months following your conviction. If the court assigns you to the 24D Program you will have a license suspension of between 45 and 90 days. Those who are assigned to the 24D program are immediately eligible to apply for a 12 hours hardship license or work license. These license suspension periods are limited to the OUI / DUI conviction. If you refused the breath test, any court imposed license suspension will be added to the breath test refusal suspension. 

    • For example, a person with no prior OUI / DUI convictions or assignments to any substance abuse treatment program who is arrested for OUI / DUI will in most instances be offered a chemical breath test at the police station. You have every right to refuse to take this test and the Commonwealth is not permitted to introduce any evidence of your refusal at trial. However, if you do refuse the test your drivers license will be suspended for 180 days (if you have no prior convictions). Assume that two months have passed and you decide you want to resolve the case and get the alternative 24D disposition. The court will impose a license suspension of 45-90 days. The Registry of Motor Vehicles when it receives the case disposition will add this 45-90 day suspension to the end of what remains of the 180-day license suspension.

    How to Get a Hardship License: If you have been convicted or plea to a first offense OUI / DUI and you have no prior OUI / DUI convictions or program assignments you are eligible to apply for a Hardship License. A Hardship License is commonly known as a work license or Cinderella license. In Massachusetts a Hardship License allows you to drive during a 12-hour window. This 12-hour window does not change day to day but allows you to operate 7 days a week during the time period. To be eligible to apply you must meet the following steps:

    Step 1: Your criminal matter must be resolved and the final disposition/resolution information must be sent to the Registry of Motor Vehicles;

    Step 2: You must complete the Driver Alcohol Education Program Intake Process and obtain Enrollment Verification; 

    Step 3: You must obtain documentation that shows the license suspension has caused you. The Registry of Motor Vehicles has very limited grounds it will consider granting a Hardship License for and very strict requirements on the documentation that is necessary to satisfy the showing of the hardship; and

    Step 4: You must go to a Registry of Motor Vehicles Branch where a Hearing Officer is located and request to have a hearing. At the hearing, the Hearing Officer will review your hardship/work documentation to ensure it meets the RMV's requirements as well as the Program Enrollment Verification. A Hearing Officer is under no obligation to grant anyone a Hardship License. The decision is completely discretionary.

    When you are charged with your first OUI / DUI it is important to have an Attorney on your side who understands both the possible criminal penalties but also the license suspension ramifications. As a Criminal Defense Attorney and Former Hearings Officer, Attorney Gilman understands how challenging it can be to get all the information you need. Attorney Gilman travels across the Commonwealth to represent clients faced a first offense OUI / DUI charges and license suspensions. Contact Gilman Law, P.C. to speak directly with Attorney Gilman and schedule a free consultation today.

  • I have been charged with my first OUI or DUI. What are my options?

    Every day, in every corner of Massachusetts, people are arrested and charged with operating under the influence of liquor or drugs (OUI or DUI). It does not matter what city or town you live in, who you know, or what kind of car you drive, every day countless people's lives are changed because of Operating Under the Influence charges. You should not let this charge or the immediate license suspension make you feel hopeless. In fact, you have many rights and options right at your fingertips to immediately take charge of the situation. 

    Gilman Law, P.C. specializes in DUI and OUI defense and license suspension law. Our experience can ensure you have the strongest defense and get you your license reinstated as quickly as possible.

    Individuals charged with OUI or DUI must balance many competing goals and interests. If you took and failed the chemical breathalyzer test, your license will most likely be suspended for 30 days. If you refused the test, your license will be suspended for at minimum 180 days. However, you have the right to appeal the refusal suspension within 15 days from your arrest. There are many competing interests that must be discussed and analyzed in order to develop a defense.

    Just like in any criminal case your options with the criminal charge of OUI or DUI boils down to just two options: Fight or Plea.

    Fighting the Case

    Just because you have been charged with OUI or DUI, you are presumed innocent. You have absolutely no burden to prove you are innocent because in our justice system you sit in court presumed to be. The prosecutor or judge may not make you feel like you are innocent, but at the end of the day, it is the Commonwealth's prosecutors job to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

    Fighting the charge will take some time and in many cases will require multiple pretrial court hearings before you get your trial date. It takes time to make sure your rights are being protected and we have all the information from the Commonwealth and that no stones have been left unturned. All the court dates are designed to make sure you are put in the best position to receive a not guilty verdict on the day of trial. If you fight and lose, and this is a first offense OUI or DUI, you are most likely to receive the same exact sentence that you would have received if you elected option two and plead to the charge.  

    Resolve the Case With a Plea

    If you have no prior OUI or DUI convictions or assignments to substance abuse treatment programs, you can expect that your case will be continued without a finding for one year from the date of your plea. A continuance without a finding (CWOF) is not a conviction in the general sense. However, a CWOF will count as a prior OUI or DUI for any future offenses. If the court grants you a CWOF you can expect the following requirements:

    • Probation for one year (many courts will allow you to bring the case forward after nine months if you successfully complete the Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) Program
    • Entry into a 16-week (90 minutes a week) Driver Alcohol Education Program
    • A license suspension of 45 to 90 days (this is in addition to any suspension for refusal of the breathalyzer test at the police station)
    • Monetary Fines over $1000.00

    Upon the court's acceptance of your plea and your admission into the Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) Program, you will be eligible to apply for a 12-hour hardship license through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Attorney Gilman will assist you in applying for a hardship license.

    If you have been charged with OUI or DUI Attorney Gilman is available 24/7 to discuss your case and your options. For a free case evaluation with Attorney Gilman, just fill out the contact form below or call (978) 612-6447.