If you are accused of a second offense OUI (DUI) in Massachusetts, this can be a very scary time. A 2nd offense charge is far more serious than a 1st offense, and I know you are worried about what this latest charge might mean for your driver’s license, and your future.
Whatever happened that lead to this charge – whether you are a victim of bad luck, if you are being unfairly accused, or feel you made a big mistake – you need and experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting for you and protecting your rights.
I’ve defended clients who I thought were absolutely innocent of a 2nd offense drunk driving charge. And, I’ve also had clients who admitted to me that they have made mistakes related to problems with alcohol.
We all make mistakes and while that’s no excuse, I know you are probably extremely remorseful about your actions that led to this latest charge. Whether you had a night out with friends or attended a dinner party—the charges are the same and so are the penalties. And now, the only thing you can do is face the problem, fix it as best you can with the minimum penalty possible, and get on with your life.
Let me help you get through this drunk driving charge. While it is serious, it isn’t the end of the world, and I can help you fix it and move on.
Massachusetts 2nd Offense OUI Penalties
If this is your second OUI charge, even if you were granted a CWOF on the first offense, you could face the following maximum penalties:
- 60 days to 2 ½ years in jail
- Fines reaching $10,000
- Up to 3 years driver’s license suspension and
- An Ignition Interlock Device when you regain some driving privileges
The actual likelihood of jail time for a is very, very small, even for a second offense. If we work out a plea deal, we can most often to get you the alternative disposition of:
- 2 weeks inpatient alcohol treatment
- 2 years probation
- Up to a 3-year license suspension with an Ignition Interlock device installed when you regain driving privileges
Two weeks as an inpatient in a treatment program isn’t the same jail, but it isn’t fun.
But before we decide to work out a plea deal, we need to make sure fighting the case, and beating the charges isn’t the best way to go.
Should I Fight my Second Offense OUI Charge in Court?
That is the most common question people ask when they find themselves facing a drunk driving charge for a second time – should I fight the case and go to trial?
- Can I win the case?
- What happens if I lose?
OUI charges, even 2nd offenses, are definitely winnable. I’ve beaten a lot of them. In fact, winning an OUI trial is no harder if it is a second offense than if it was a first offense. Of course, the decision can be complicated, and can vary widely depending on the key facts of your case.
But the reasons for fighting your charge often make more sense.
- If you plead guilty, your license is suspended for up 3 years.
- There is no hardship license opportunity before then.
- Even if you lose at trial and a jury finds you guilty, you may not be any worse off then if you pleaded to the charge up front.
Every client must make a risk vs reward judgment. And I can help you go through the pros and cons of this decision, with a realistic analysis of how likely I think it is that we can win your case.
The obvious upside to winning is that you are not guilty and face no penalty. And that is a big deal that many people are willing to take a chance on.
What If My Previous OUI Offense is really old?
If you have a prior offense from more than ten years previous, we can often negotiate what is known as a first offender “24D” disposition, where the courts agree to treat your penalty as if it was a first offense. This is a pretty good deal, as it avoids the mandatory 2 week inpatient alcohol treatment program, and you only have to take the 16 week, 1 hour a week first offender alcohol education program instead.
There are some limitations on a 24D deal, however.
- The judge has to approve it, and he has full discretion either way. Most of the time, I can convince the judge to go along with it, but sometimes, if the circumstances of the incident that lead to the arrest are fairly serious, say, with an accident, or a breath test failure with a very high BAC level, the judge just won’t go along.
- The Registry of Motor Vehicles is a separate problem, and they don’t care what the courts say. They will give you a license suspension for 3 years, and a require the mandatory interlock device when it’s reinstated, the same as any second offense deal.
Can I Get a Hardship License After a Second Offense Plea Deal?
No. There are Registry of Motor Vehicle appeal hearings that we can talk about in some very unusual circumstances, but in almost all normal 2nd offense cases, it’s simply not going to work.
Free Consultation on any 2nd Offense OUI Charge
Please call me absolutely any time about a second offense charge.
I’ve helped hundreds of clients in cases like this, and I know what you are going through.