Being stopped by a police officer after having consumed alcohol is one of the most unnerving experiences anyone can ever face. The first reaction is such an instance is to panic and over-react as the heart starts pounding.
The key in such situation, however, is to remain calm and polite as the officer surveys you and the scene, according to DUI Attorney Shane W. Surrette. The officer will initially ask you for your license and vehicle registration and he is going to watch how you are able to produce these documents. You will then be asked where you are coming from and how much you had to drink. Again observations will be made of how you answer and react to these questions, as well as your manner of speech.
Similarly, you will be asked to exit the vehicle and you will be judged on how you are able to exit the vehicle and how your balance is upon exiting the vehicle. You will then be asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests, where the officer is looking for certain clues as you perform these tests.
For example, in the nine step walk and turn test, they will look for whether you are able to balance during instructions; start when instructed; maintain heel to toe as you walk; step off-line; raise your arms for balance; stop; turn correctly; and whether you take the correct number of steps. As some people have better balance generally speaking than others, there can be numerous reasons why you might be unsuccessful on a test such as this without being under the influence of alcohol.
Keep in mind that the police are generally going to ask you to do these tests because they at least have suspicion that you are impaired by alcohol. You have in Massachusetts, however, an absolute right to refuse to perform these tests, and such refusal can’t be admitted against you in the Commonwealth’s case in chief.
As a result, unless you know that you have extraordinary balance and you will be unaffected by the flashing lights of the police cruiser coupled with the road conditions and the passing motorists, most of the time it is advisable to refuse field sobriety tests.
Without any observations of your performance on the field sobriety tests, the police will be forced to decide if you are under the influence of alcohol based upon their observations of your driving and their interaction with you in what is commonly a very short period of time.
This decision to arrest need only be based on probable cause to believe that you have driven while under the influence of alcohol. If it can go either way, the police will almost always arrest.
So if you are going to be arrested anyway, don’t enhance the government’s case. Remember to remain calm, polite, and unless you know you have great balance and coordination, it is ok to say no I’m not doing the field sobriety tests, according to DUI Attorney Surrette.
Please check back for future blog posts detailing what to do when arrested and booked for operating under the influence of alcohol, and whether it is advisable to take a breathalyzer test.
Worcester criminal lawyers can help you win your case when charged with certain crimes. Attorney Shane W. Surrette has the experience and the knowledge to handle all aspects of your criminal matter from start to finish.
Having tried hundreds of cases, and having presented countless motions, and probation hearings, Attorney Surrette will make sure that proper procedure is followed in your matter, and he will fight for you and your rights. Attorney Shane W. Surrette specializes in the following areas:
- Drunk Driving Offenses (OUI, DUI, DWI)
- Drug Offenses including Possession and Distribution
- Assault and Battery Cases
- Traffic Violations
- Sex Crimes
- Breaking and Entering Offenses
- Motor Vehicle Homicides
- Firearm Possession
- Operating After Suspension
- Malicious Destruction of Property
- Rapes and Sexual Assaults
Driving Under the Influence (OUI, DUI, DWI)
Attorney Shane Surrette has tried hundreds of OUI cases in Worcester County. He has extensive experience with breathalyzer testing, field sobriety testing, and other procedures the police do not want you to know about. Attorney Surrette can help you with all aspects of regaining your license after an OUI arrest.
Being arrested for OUI in Massachusetts is extremely serious. An OUI arrest can have far reaching consequences that can affect you the rest of your life. Massachusetts drunk driving penalties are among the toughest in the United States. A person who is faced with drunk driving charges is subject to:
- Loss of License
- Jail Time
- Significant Fines and Penalties
- Loss of Employment
- Personal Strife
Call Attorney Surrette today for a free consultation.
If convicted of dui Massachusetts, second offenders(anyone with a previous OUI conviction or previous assignment to the 24D program or substantially similar program) face the second offender disposition which includes:
- probation for 2 years for dui Massachusetts;
- 2 year loss of license with a hardship license available after 1 year for employment/education purposes, and 18 month for a general hardship license. (Note: A condition of a hardship license is that the operator have an ignition interlock device on his/her vehicle. The device requires the operator to blow into it prior to and during operation, and prevents the car from operating if the operator has a blood alcohol level of .02 or greater. The interlock device must be imposed for the duration of the hardhip period and an additional two years thereafter.);
- 14 day in-patient residential alcohol program with a fee of approximately $1,050;
- $65 supervised probation fee for dui Massachusetts;
- $250 OUI assessment with a $50 victim of OUI fee, and $50 victim witness fee.
A Mass dui lawyer will help you beat these charges. If convicted of dui Massachusetts and not sentenced to the second offender disposition, the potential penalty includes:
- imprisonment for a mandatory minimum of 30 days and not more than 2.5 years for dui Massachusetts;
- fine of not less than $600 nor more than $10,000; and
- 2 year loss of license with the hardship license available after 1 year and 18 months.
With a second offense breathalyzer failure for dui Massachusetts, the license loss remains 30 days at the outset, unless you are between the ages of 18-20, where the 30 days has an additional 180 day component. If you refuse the breathalyzer test on a second offense, you will lose your license for 3 years, and if you are under 21 you will lose your license for 3 years plus the YAP suspension for dui Massachusetts. An experienced Massachusetts drunk driving attorney will help you beat your charges.
Please note that if you hold a commercial driver’s license and you refuse the breathalyzer test on a second offense, you will lose your commercial license for life. Also, if you are convicted of a second offense dui Massachusetts, you will lose your commercial license for life.
Call the office of Shane W. Surrette, an experienced Massachusetts drunk driving attorney, at 508.799.9309. http://www.swslawoffice.com
Massachusetts drugs laws carry significant penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, and lengthy license suspensions. Both go up drastically as more marijuana, cocaine and heroin is allegedly found. Make the right move and contact Worcester County drug possession attorney Shane W. Surrette today. He is the best drug defense lawyer in the area.
Worcester drug possession attorney Shane W. Surrette has handled Trafficking, Possession with Intent to Distribute, Possession with Intent to Distribute Subsequent Offense, School Zone Violation, and Possession cases throughout Worcester County..
Go with the premiere Worcester criminal defense drug possession Attorney today. Attorney Surrette has handled countless marijuana, cocaine and heroin cases in Northern and Central Worcester County as well, and his experience makes him the one to contact if you reside in the Worcester/Fitchburg area.
When an individual is arrested, there are many issues that must immediately be managed by a drug defense attorney. If the arrest takes place in the middle of the night, early in the morning, or on a holiday or weekend, you need a drug possession attorney available to fight for you and your rights. The criminal justice system operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and so does Attorney Shane W. Surrette Each client can reach Attorney Shane W. Surrette 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including Sundays and holidays. No client of this top rated drug defense attorney is ever left alone to deal with the authorities.
Contact Attorney Surrette today to help you beat your drug charges. He offers free advice and can help you win your case. http://www.swslawoffice.com
If convicted of DUI Massachusetts, first time offenders may be sentenced under M.G. L. c. 90 s. 24D, which includes:
- probation for not more than 2 years for dui Massachusetts;
- assignment to a driver alcohol education awareness program (usually sixteen weeks, one night per week), as a condition of probation;
- $600 in fees and fines payable to the court;
- $65 dollars per month in supervised probation fees;
- 45-90 day license loss; 210 day license loss if driver under 21; and
- ability to obtain a hardship license upon proper showing of need for education or employment purposes (hardship license is effective for 12 hour periods, and is typically available within 3 business days of a disposition with a monetary down-payment of around $400).
If convicted and not sentenced under M.G.L. c. 90 s. 24D, the potential penalty includes:
- up to 2.5 years to the House of Correction and/or not less that $500 nor more than $5,000 in fines for dui Massachusetts; and
- a 1 year loss of license, with a hardship license available after 3 months. (Note: the 3 month period is in addition to any time still remaining on the license revocation due to a breathalyzer test refusal).
Furthermore, if you take the breathalyzer test and fail (meaning anything over a .08) you will lose your license for 30 days at the outset for dui massachusetts. If you refuse the breathalyzer test on a first offense dui Massachusetts, you will lose your license for 6 months at the outset. If you are 18-21 years old and blow .02 or greater, in addition to the 30 day license loss there is an additional 180 day loss. Also, if you are 18-21 and refuse the breathalyzer test, you will lose your license for 3 years plus an additional youth alcohol program suspension for dui massachusetts. (Note that if a 24D disposition is imposed or elected for an individual 21 or older, the ability to obtain a hardship license can be achieved even though the 6 month period has not been served). It helps to have a Massachusetts drunk driving attorney to provide you with advice.
The above license concerns are further enhanced if you have a commercial driver’s license for dui massachusetts. For example, there is no hardship relief available for a chemical test refusal suspension relative to a commercial driver’s license. Additionally, there is a 1 year commercial driver’s license loss for a chemical test refusal on a first offense dui Massachusetts, and an additional 1 year commercial license loss upon conviction or assignment to the 24D program. An experienced Mass dui lawyer can help your chances of beating the charges.
Call an experienced Massachusetts drunk driving attorney today.
Shane W. Surrette 508.799.9309 http://www.swslawoffice.com