If you are arrested for DUI in Massachusetts, you will be offered a breathalyzer test when you get back to the police station. The decision of whether to take a breathalyzer test should not be taken lightly. For instance, you should consider how much you had to drink and when in making your decision. Also, the test results will be impacted by what you had to eat and when, as well as a multitude of other factors.
Of further consideration is the license impact of taking versus not taking the breath test. For example, on a DUI first offense in Massachusetts, if you refuse the breathalyzer test and you are 21 or older, you will lose your license for 6 months from the time of refusal. If you take the test and fail on a first offense, you will lose your license for 30 days from the time of the test.
If you refuse the breathalyzer test on a DUI second offense, you will lose your license for 3 years from the time of refusal. If you take the test and fail the suspension period remains 30 days. These suspensions obviously increase as the offense numbers increase, and they are in addition to any suspensions that occur as a result of a conviction on the underlying offense.
As a result, the decision of whether to take the breathalyzer test may depend on how well you can get around without a license for the immediate future. If you are facing a DUI charge today, contact a DUI attorney who will fight for you and your license.
If you drive a motor vehicle on a public way after consuming any amount of alcohol, and you are stopped by the police, you face the potential for a DUI charge. For instance, even though DUI is commonly thought of as drunk driving, the jury instructions indicate that if the operator has a reduced alertness, judgment, and ability to respond promptly, then the jury is warranted in finding the under the influence element of the charge.
Obviously, alcohol affects people differently, and a certain amount that may reduce one person’s alertness, and judgment, may not have the same impact on another person. With this in mind, during a DUI stop, the police will look for certain clues to see if they can ascertain whether the driver’s self-control and reflexes have been reduced.
The police will look to see if the vehicle was swerving, whether or not the driver can produce the license and registration without difficulty, as well as how the person was able to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. These will all be factors in the officer’s decision to arrest for DUI, and are just a few of the considerations applicable in a DUI case.
As a result, if you or someone you know is facing such a charge, search for those DUI Attorneys who will fight for you and your rights. Don’t hesitate, call today.
There are many collateral consequences of being charged with a sex offense under Massachusetts law. Beyond facing the potential for a jail or state prison sentence, you will also face registration with the sex offender registry board, the potential for commitment as a sexually dangerous person, as well as GPS monitoring. There has also been an upswing over the past few years in town residency restrictions.
Town residency restrictions are those adopted by the particular city or town that prohibit certain sex offenders, usually level 3, from residing within certain distances from schools and parks, just to name two locations. A typical residency restriction would prohibit someone determined to be a level 3 sex offender from living within 1,000 of a school or park.
This can obviously be an onerous restriction if there are many parks within a particular town, or if the only place you can live is within 1,000 feet of a school or park. Such a restriction could require someone to sell their home, and face significant difficulties in finding residency, all to prevent any violation of restrictions.
As residency restrictions are just one of a number of potential collateral consequences of a conviction for a sex offense, it is important to find a criminal attorney who has experience handling such cases. Don’t hesitate, more than your freedom is on the line.
If you are charged with a crime against another, and the alleged victim seeks a restraining order against you as well, the consequences of having the restraining order can be just as severe as the underlying criminal charge. For instance, if you are married and your spouse has a restraining order against you, you could be ordered to stay away from your residence, and not have any contact with your spouse or your children.
Similarly, if you are unable to have any contact with your spouse, there may be issues pertaining to filing tax returns, paying bills, as well as, having access to money. Also, if you are unable to have any contact with your spouse and you must stay away from your residence, what do you do if you are waiting for important mail that could impact employment?
Consider further that if the court determines that there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse, you must surrender all guns, ammunition, gun licenses, and FID cards, and any such licenses or cards are suspended immediately. This will obviously have a huge impact on you, if your job requires you to carry a firearm.
The above-mentioned consequences are just a few considerations if you are facing a restraining order as part of a criminal case. As a result, if you find yourself in such a position, contact a criminal attorney who will advocate for you and your livelihood.
There have been many stories in the news lately involving allegations of motor vehicle homicide. If charged under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 90 section 24G(a), where alcohol is a factor, the government must show that there was operation of a motor vehicle, on a public way, at a time that either the person’s blood alcohol content was .08 or above, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The Commonwealth must also show that the vehicle operation was either reckless or negligent, and that death of another resulted therefrom.
If the Commonwealth is able to prove these elements, then the punishment encompasses not less than 2.5 nor more than 15 years in state prison, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than 1 year, nor more than 2.5 years. This part of the statute requires a minimum mandatory 1 year imprisonment.
If charged under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 90 section 24G(b), the government wouldn’t have to prove impairment, or .08 or above and reckless or negligent operation. If they prove one, and that such operation caused the death of another, then the Commonwealth has made out their case. This subsection carries with it the penalty of imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than 30 days, nor more than 2.5 years, or by fine, or both.
As a result, if you find yourself facing such charges, contact a criminal attorney who will zealously advocate for you. The penalties are too severe to take lightly.
If you or someone you know is arrested for drunk driving, the consequences are severe. First of all, if you agree to take the breathalyzer test on a first offense, you will lose your license for 30 days. If you decline the breathalyzer test on a first offense, you will lose your license for 180 days.
Similarly, the penalties associated with a conviction can be staggering. For instance, a first offender disposition will often call for probation for a year with costs reaching the thousands, and with an additional 45-90 day license loss.
A second offender disposition will often call for probation for 2 years, with the requirement of a 14 day in-patient program costing over $1,000. A second offender disposition will also call for a 2 year license loss, as well as the imposition of an ignition interlock device when you try to get your license back.
If you are convicted of a third offense for drunk driving, there is a 150 minimum mandatory jail sentence with the potential for indictment. The license loss for a third offense conviction runs for 8 years, which is in addition to any time lost for a breathalyzer test refusal, or failure.
The above referenced consequences are just a few facing those charged with drunk driving offenses. They also represent standard dispositions, since the court can impose sentences even stricter than those referenced above. Furthermore, the penalties will get even more severe if you reach a fourth, fifth, or subsequent DUI.
With this in mind, if you find yourself charged with drunk driving as either a first or subsequent offender, do the right thing and contact a drunk driving attorney who will fight to the end for you. The consequences are just too severe to take the charges lightly.
Many of you have commented on the high number of DUI arrests in Fitchburg over the weekend. With the amount of DUI arrests increasing, here are a few things to keep in mind from a DUI Attorney.
First of all, you should know that you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests, and any such refusal can’t be used by the Commonwealth at trial in its case in chief against you. This is important because there are a number of reasons why a person can’t perform well on field sobriety tests, without being under the influence.
In a similar vein, you have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test, and any refusal can’t be used against you by the Commonwealth in its case in chief. Whether or not to take the breathalyzer test should be carefully analyzed, because once you agree to the test and produce a result of .08 or above, you are stuck with that result.
Finally, the decision of whether or not to take the breathalyzer test also carries with it license consequences. For instance, refusing to take the breathalyzer test on a DUI first offense carries with it a six month license suspension. Taking the test and failing on a first offense results in a thirty day license suspension. This is often how the police are able to encourage those arrested to take the breathalyzer.
With these point in mind, if you or someone you know is arrested for DUI, contact an attorney with experience trying DUI cases. With your livelihood and your license on the line, don’t hesitate, make the call today.