If you’ve been arrested and charged with a Fourth Offense OUI,
your defense must begin now.
Fourth Offense OUI Defense Lawyer
A conviction on a Fourth Offense OUI comes with a minimum mandatory jail sentence and a 10-year license loss. How this kind of charge might affect your life, your family and your career is not lost on us. The reality is, the ramifications are significant and far-reaching. We understand that and we understand how important it is that your case be fought tooth and nail.
Our firm practices 100% OUI Defense. We understand the significance of this charge and the impact it may have on your life.
Submit A Free Case Evaluation or call (508) 930-4273 24/7 to speak with Attorney Higgins directly for free.
• Guilty finding and a jail sentence of at least 2 years (1 year of which must be served incarcerated)
• Your jail sentence will likely be a “split sentence.” This means that part of your jail sentence will be served incarcerated and the balance of the sentence will be suspended for a period of probation. If you are found to have violated your probation, you will have to serve the remainder of your sentence
• Fine of between $1,500 and $25,000
• 10-year Driver’s License loss. You will be eligible for a 12-hour Hardship License 5 years into the 10-year suspension. If you are granted a hardship license, you will be subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement.
o NOTE: If you refused the Breath Test on a charged Fourth Offense OUI, your license is suspended for lifetime. If you fight the case and win, however, upon order of the court your driver’s license will be reinstated subject to the RMV’s reinstatement fee.
• If you are granted a Hardship License you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock device in your vehicle for the duration of your Hardship License and for 2 additional years when you are granted a regular license.
Step 1: An “arraignment” is your first formal appearance in court. When you get to the courthouse, the first thing you need to do is report to the Probation Department.
Step 2: Once you’re there, you will meet with a Probation Officer and they will ask you a series of biographical questions. They ask you these questions so that
(1) they can run your criminal record, and;
(2) they can assess your eligibility for a court-appointed lawyer.
Step 3: Once you’ve completed this process, you will be directed to the First Session/Main Session courtroom, where you will wait for your case to be called. When your case is called, the Clerk will read off the complaint and enter pleas of Not Guilty on your behalf.
Step 4: The judge will then continue your case to a date for a “Pre-Trial Conference.”
Step 5: Depending on the facts of your case and your criminal record, you may have to post an amount of bail.
Submit A Free Case Evaluation (508) 930-4273 24/7 to discuss your situation with Attorney Higgins directly for free.
The law for a Fourth Offense OUI is complicated. To assist you in understanding what comes with a Fourth Offense OUI, we have put together a complete summary of what you can expect with a Fourth Offense OUI. We have derived this summary directly from Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24—the Massachusetts OUI law. Attorney Higgins is available to speak with you at (508) 930-4273 should you have any questions.
Fourth Offense OUI Penalties: Fine of between $1,500 and $25,000; Incarceration for not less than 2 years nor more than 2.5 years in the House of Correction; Incarceration in state prison for not less than 2.5 years nor more than 5 years if you are indicted and prosecuted in Superior Court. Any period of incarceration cannot be suspended, nor may you be placed on probation, furlough, or be eligible for parole, or receive any reduction in your sentence until 1 year (minimum mandatory) of your sentence has been served incarcerated.
Fourth Offense OUI Fees and Fines: $65/month Probation Service Fee; $250 Head Injury Assessment; $50 Victims of Drunk Driving Fee.
Fourth Offense OUI License Loss: 10 years (eligible for 12-hour Hardship License after 5 years of the 10-year suspension)
Additional Breath Test-Related License Loss:
• If you are above the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: Lifetime
• If you are under the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: Lifetime
• If you are above the age of 21 and failed the Breath Test (+ 0.08): 30 Days
• If you are under the age of 21, took the Breath Test and produced a reading of 0.02 or greater: 30 days plus an additional 180 days, for a total of 210 days.
NOTE: ANY LICENSE LOSS ASSOCIATED WITH A CONVICTION WILL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY BREATH TEST REFUSAL SUSPENSION. THERE ARE NO HARDSHIP LICENSES FOR THESE TYPES OF SUSPENSIONS.
Hardship License Requirements: You will be eligible for 12-hour Hardship License 5 years into your 10-year suspension. If the RMV issues you a hardship license, you will be subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement. After 8 years of your 10-year suspension, you will be eligible for a new license on a limited basis with conditions deemed appropriate by the RMV and subject to the Ignition Interlock requirement.
Frequently Asked Questions: Fourth Offense DUI
Will I go to jail for a Fourth DUI offense?
If convicted on a Fourth Offense, yes. A conviction on a Fourth Offense OUI mandates a jail sentence of at least 2 years, 1-year of which must be served incarcerated. Given this reality, there is little incentive to plea/admit to a Fourth Offense OUI.
Can I get a “Cinderella License" if this is my Fourth OUI Offense?
The Registry of Motor Vehicles does not issue Hardship (or commonly referred to as “Cinderella”) Licenses for Breath Test Refusal or Failure Suspensions. If you refused the Breath Test on a charged Fourth Offense OUI, your license is suspended for life. If you win your case, however, upon order of the court, your license will be reinstated. If you failed the Breath Test and suffered the associated 30-day suspension, and you are subsequently convicted, your license will be suspended for an additional 10-years. You will not be eligible for a Hardship License until you have served 5 years of that suspension. When and if you are issued a Hardship License, you will be subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement for the duration of your Hardship License plus 2 years on a regular license.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device? How will this affect me if this is my Fourth DUI offense?
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld Breath Test machine in your car. It is electronically connected to your vehicle’s ignition and requires that you produce a BAC sample of less than .02 in order for the vehicle to start. While you are driving, you will also be required to blow into the machine at random intervals. Anyone who has two or more OUIs is required by law to have an IID installed in any vehicle they own, lease or operate. The IID will be required for the duration of any Hardship License, plus an additional 2 years on a regular license.
Will the jury know that this is my Fourth DUI Offense?
No, the jury will not know that you have prior OUIs. In Massachusetts, subsequent offense OUIs are treated in a bifurcated fashion. You will have a trial on the issue of whether or not you are guilty of operating under the influence of alcohol on the date of your most recent arrest. Only if the Commonwealth proves you guilty of OUI will you move on to a second trial where the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are the same person whom, on a prior occasion, was convicted or sentenced to an alcohol education program for a similar or like offense on three prior occasions.
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