The vast majority of people who are arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts end up working out a plea deal. The reasons for that are not that you can’t win the case – you often can. But the courts and the Registry make fighting the case hard and disruptive to people’s lives, and most people simply can’t afford not to have a driver’s license for the duration of the case until the trial, which could be 6 months or more.
So, I end up working out a lot of plea deals for our clients on 1st offense cases. And I am always happy to do that if it is in your best interest. I understand that the only thing that matters is what ultimately makes your life easier through this unpleasant situation.
What I can do for you as your attorney in an OUI plea is the following:
Make Sure You Get the Best Deal Possible
In most cases, I can get my clients who have been accused of a 1st offense OUI charge the Alternate Disposition or the minimum allowable penalty allowed by law. Which is a resolution of:
- A Continuance Without A Finding (CWOF), which is an “admission of sufficient facts to find you guilty”, but not an actual guilty plea.
- One year term of probation.
- A required 16-week alcohol education class (Cost: $567.22)
- A number of fines and fees. Roughly $1400 over the course of a year, and then $500 for license reinstatement.
Make Sure you are Treated Fairly
Just as part of our initial (free) conversation, I will be able to do a quick case evaluation to determine if there are any obvious holes in the case against you. If I think the case should be fought, and there is a chance to get the charges dismissed quickly, I will let you know right away.
If we proceed down the path of a plea deal, I will absolutely make sure there are no problems or sneaky tricks from the prosecutors.
And if there are additional criminal or civil charges like negligent operation, or marked lanes violation, we can often get those charges either dismissed or run concurrently, so there is no additional penalty.
Make sure the Process Goes Quickly And Smoothly – No Mistakes
One of the things I can do as your attorney is get your plea deal resolved very quickly. Sometimes we can conclude the case on the day of your initial arraignment, which could be the next business day after your arrest. If I am not available in time for the arraignment, I can still move up the court and resolve it quickly thereafter.
Get You Back on the Road with a Hardship License.
There is a reasonable chance you could be done with the courts tomorrow if we can work out a plea on the spot at your arraignment. If not, we can get it done ASAP.
If you are eligible and qualify for a hardship license, we can get you back on the road with a limited hardship license so you can drive 12 hours a day as soon as next week.
Can I Work Out a Plea Without a Lawyer?
It is risky to do, but it is theoretically possible. And could involve some enormous risks.
Is the prosecutor offering you a fair deal? How will you know if he isn’t? Even if you think he isn’t, what can you do about it?
What about the judge? Different judges in different district courts can be known to treat the same set of facts in a drunk driving case very differently. Some are very fair and reasonable. And some other judges are very strict, and won’t be easy to deal with, won’t be cooperative, and won’t be inclined to offer you the best deal if you are representing yourself.
But most judges DO care about order and moving cases. An experienced attorney is in a much better position to make sure you get the right deal than you could do alone. You simply don’t have the right leverage on your own to be prepared to walk away and try the case.
If you are trying to decide what to do next after a drunk driving arrest in Massachusetts, please call me immediately. I can help!