Massachusetts Drunk Driving Attorney
If you are charged with drunk driving in Massachusetts, and you are trying to decide if you should resolve your case from the outset or take it to trial, here are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, refusals are inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief. This means that refusals to perform field sobriety tests, and a refusal to take the breathalyzer test is inadmissible in the government’s case in chief.
Additionally, certain statements made during the arrest and at booking may also be inadmissible if they refer to prior arrests, or if it is determined that the prejudicial impact of the statements substantially outweighs their probative value.
Furthermore, if you are charged with drunk driving and this is a second or subsequent offense, the jury will not hear about any prior drunk driving convictions during the government’s case. The jury will decide the case on whether they believe that the person was operating under the influence of alcohol, without reference to whether this has happened in the past.
As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving, contact a Drunk Driving Attorney who will go to trial and fight for you. Don’t hesitate make the call today.
If you are stopped in a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol in Massachusetts, you will likely be asked to perform field sobriety tests. One such test that the police like to utilize in forming their opinion for DUI is a portable breathalyzer test. This test is different from the infrared test that is given back at the police station.
For instance, the portable breathalyzer test is inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief, yet it is relied on by the police in many instances to determine whether an arrest for drunk driving is appropriate. The infrared breath test that is given back at the police station, however, is admissible in the government’s case in chief if certain minimum regulatory requirements are met.
Additionally, there are no license implications if you refuse or fail the portable breathalyzer test, but there are license implications attached to the infrared breath test. One test doesn’t flow into the next.
As a result, if you or someone close to you is stopped in a vehicle after consuming alcohol, it is important to know what the implications of your decisions are. If you are stopped and arrested, contact a Massachusetts Drunk Driving Attorney who will fight for you. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Under Massachusetts law, if you are arrested for drunk driving and you have a child 14 years or younger in the vehicle, there is a separate charge that the police can pursue with enhanced penalties. In these circumstances, the police can bring an allegation of child endangerment while operating under the influence, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 90 s. 24V.
The penalty for a first offense violation of this section is a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 and by imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than 90 days nor more than 2 1/2 years. There is also a license loss of 1 year for a first offense violation of this law. Additionally, the penalty for a violation of the child endangerment statute has to be served on and after the underlying penalty for the drunk driving charge.
As a result, if you are facing a child endangerment while operating under the influence charge, contact a skilled and experienced drunk driving attorney who will fight for you. Don’t hesitate, make a call or send an email today.
If you are convicted of drunk driving in Massachusetts the penalties can be extraordinarily severe. For example, if convicted of a first offense, you may be sentenced under M.G.L. c. 90 s. 24D, which includes: probation for not more than two years, an alcohol education program, thousands of dollars in fees, and an accompanying license loss. If not sentenced under 24D, the potential penalty includes up to 2.5 years to the House of Correction and/or not less than$500 nor more than $5,000 in fines and a 1 year license loss.
If convicted of a second offense for drunk driving, the potential penalty includes probation for 2 years, a 14 day in-patient residential alcohol program, statutory fees, and a 2 year license loss with an ignition interlock device requirement. If convicted and not sentenced under the second offender disposition, the penalty includes a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days and up to 2.5 years, with a potential fine of not less than $600 nor more than $10,000.
If convicted of a third offense for drunk driving, the penalties include imprisonment for a mandatory minimum 150 day sentence, with a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in state prison, and a find of not less than $1,000 nor more than $15,000, in addition to an 8 year license loss. The terms of incarceration and accompanying license loss increase even more dramatically for convictions beyond a third offense.
As a result, if you or someone you care about is charged with drunk driving, contact a Massachusetts Drunk Driving Lawyer who will fight for you. There is a lot riding on your decision.