Consequences of a Guilty Finding in MA: Worcester Criminal Lawyer

Whether you are thinking about pleading guilty to a criminal offense, or are contemplating a trial on the underlying case, you need to weigh all the potential collateral consequences of your decision. One of the most significant consequences outside the courtroom is the potential for loss of license, according to Worcester Criminal Lawyer Shane W. Surrette.

Many charges in Massachusetts carry a license loss whenever a guilty finding enters. For example, even though the legislature has spoken that possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense and has no license consequences, if you are found guilty of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, you will lose your license for 2 years.

Similarly, if you are found guilty of simple possession of cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, ecstasy, or any other substance defined under classes A-E of the Massachusetts General Laws, you will lose your license for one year on each count. Also, a guilty finding on possession of heroin or cocaine with the intent to distribute the same will result in a license loss of 3 years for each guilty finding.

These lengthy license losses aren’t just attributable to drug convictions, however. For instance, if you are found guilty of defacing(vandalizing) real or personal property you will lose your license to operate a motor vehicle for 1 year. Such license loss results even if the underlying case doesn’t involve vandalism to a motor vehicle.

Furthermore, a guilty finding on unauthorized use of a motor vehicle will result in a 1 year license suspension, with a 3 year suspension for any subsequent convictions. Such an unauthorized use charge can be based on allegations that you took a family member’s vehicle without his/her consent.

Some additional charges with an accompanying guilty finding that can result in license loss include negligent operation, which carries a 60 day suspension; failing to file a return or pay state taxes, which results in an indefinite suspension; and failing to register as a sex offender, which also carries an indefinite suspension.

The license consequences of criminal convictions in Massachusetts can be disastrous. Care must be taken with your attorney to ensure that you are making decisions on how to proceed in your case, with all available information at your disposal. Without a driver’s license in Massachusetts, it can be virtually impossible to leave your home. Make sure you know what you are agreeing to.

For more information, contact Worcester criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette at the link below:

How to Choose the Best of the Worcester Criminal Lawyers

When you are looking for the best lawyer to represent your interests in a criminal matter, it is important to look for certain criteria. For example, Worcester Criminal Lawyers that have previous work experience as Assistant District Attorneys lead in this area. The reasoning is not because they are necessarily going to be able to curry favor with that office, but because they know what the government has to prove in their cases since they have been there before. Knowing both sides of the argument because you have made both sides of the argument is invaluable.

Similarly, Worcester Criminal Lawyers that have trial experience in various courts is something you want to look for. Going to trial is one of the most difficult and unnerving experience anyone can face as a defendant. It takes an extraordinary nerve to face trial by a jury of your peers in a criminal case. Choose from the Worcester Criminal Lawyers a lawyer that has been through many trials, as this can make the unnerving experience a little easier, and can make you more confident in the outcome.

To summarize, the things to look for to find one of the best Worcester criminal lawyers:

  • Former Assistant District Attorney
  • Trial Experience in Various Courts
  • Believes in Your Case
  • Is Your Lawyer in Good Standing with the Board of Bar Overseers (BBO)? You can check this by visiting the BBO’s website by clicking here
  • Is Your Lawyer Available to Answer Your Calls After Hours

Finally, Worcester Criminal Lawyers that want to fight for you and who treat your case as if they were charged with the offense are who you want on your side. When you go to court, you have to believe in your attorney and your attorney has to believe in you.

Visit one of Worcester’s best criminal lawyers Shane W. Surrette’s website for further information by clicking here. For additional questions, please contact attorney Shane W. Surrette directly at the link below.

The Breathalyzer Test: Advice from a Worcester Criminal Lawyer

Whether or not to take the breathalyzer test is probably the most important decision that you will have to make after an OUI arrest.  The answer depends on a variety of factors. For example, how much did you drink, when did you have your last drink, and what and when did you eat last are a few of the questions you will want to examine with an experienced Worcester criminal lawyer before making this decision.

Remember, just because you don’t feel intoxicated or impaired by the consumption of alcohol doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be under the .08 Massachusetts limit. It is close to impossible to say that I had a certain number of drinks so therefore I will be at a certain level. Unless you are absolutely sure that you had little or nothing to drink, taking the breathalyzer test is similar to putting your money down at the roulette table, a gamble, according to Worcester criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette.

As a result, in most circumstances it is better not to take the breathalyzer test if your main concern is beating the criminal case. A breath test refusal, however, is not without its own significant consequences. For example, an adult first offender refusing the breathalyzer test will lose his/her license for 180 days. This period has to be served in addition to the statutory license loss of 45-90 days in the event that the government attains a conviction.

Similarly, if a not guilty finding enters after a first offense trial, a motion has to be submitted to the court for license reinstatement if the trial happens before the 180 day period ends. The court has authority to allow the motion for license reinstatement, but the court may also deny the motion.

In effect, the Commonwealth can’t force you to take the breathalyzer test, but they can make it a difficult choice based on the significant license ramifications. The license penalties also become more substantial based on the number of prior offenses.

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