Fight or Plea
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, Massachusetts DUI Lawyer Matthew 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.