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If you’ve been charged with a
Second Offense OUI,
it’s imperative to take aggressive legal action in order to
avoid jail time.

Second Offense DWI OUI Defense Massachusetts Attorney

Since the enactment of Melanie’s Law on October 28, 2005, the penalties for repeat OUI offenders in Massachusetts have changed significantly. If you’ve recently been charged with an OUI and it’s your Second Offense, it’s imperative that you fully understand your options and the consequences of any decision you make. While jail time is generally not in the picture for a First Offense OUI, it’s not entirely out of the question for a Second Offense. Additionally, with respect to your driver’s license and privilege to drive, the ramifications of a Second Offense OUI are far-reaching. For example, if you refused the Breath Test, your driver’s license is presently suspended for a period of three years. In most instances, a conviction on a Second Offense will result in an additional two-year license loss. Five years without a driver’s license is practically unfathomable.Our experience in both defending and prosecuting OUIs has allowed us to fully grasp the reality of your situation.

Our firm practices 100% OUI Defense. We understand the significance of this charge and the impact it may have on your life.

The inability to get to and from work, earn a living to pay your mortgage, drive your kids to and from their activities, go to the grocery store—we know how this charge can cripple your life and we are prepared to help you.

Submit A Free Case Evaluation or call (508) 930-4273 24/7 to speak with Attorney Higgins directly for free.

Everyone’s situation is different and we are well aware of that. The facts and circumstances behind your arrest are unique. Your life circumstances, finances, employment status and transportation options differ from those of others. We understand what needs to be taken into consideration when formulating a plan of action. How we handle your case will depend on your particular situation after a careful analysis of all relevant factors. That being said, if you’ve been charged with a Second Offense OUI, you have two options:

Second Offense OUI Option 1: Fight The Charges

Challenge the charge that has been brought against you. This option involves going back to court, putting the government to their burden of proof, filing motions against the admissibility of evidence, and in most instances, exercising your constitutional right to a trial—all in an effort to obtain you a Not Guilty verdict. If you fight the case and win, upon order of the court your driver’s license will be reinstated subject to a $500 reinstatement fee at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Second Offense OUI Option 2: Plea / Admit

If your prior offense occurred within the last 10 years, in most instances you can expect the following:

• Guilty finding with up to 2 years of probation. This probationary period may include a suspended jail sentence.
• 14-Day Inpatient Program followed by 26 weeks of aftercare.
• 2-year license loss. You will be eligible for a Hardship License 1 year into this suspension. If you refused the Breath Test, this suspension will begin after your 3-year refusal suspension and you will be eligible for a Hardship License after 4 years.
• Up to $2100 in Statutory/Probationary Fees. We can get you set up on a payment plan.
• You will be required to install an Ignition Interlock device—a Breathalyzer in your car—for as long as you are on a Hardship License and for an additional 2 years when you obtain a regular license.

Second Offense OUI Option 3: Plea / Admit

If your prior offense occurred more than 10 years ago, you may be eligible to receive a First Offender’s Disposition:

•Guilty finding with a probationary period of up to 2 years.
• Entry into a 16-week First Offender’s Alcohol Education Program that meets once a week.
• 45-90 day license loss. If you refused the Breath Test, this suspension will be tacked on to your 3-year refusal suspension.
• Up to $2,100 in Statutory/Probationary Fees. We can get you set up on a payment plan.
• Eligibility for a 12-hour, 7 days a week, Hardship Driver’s License. We will assist you in obtaining this license from the RMV.
• You will be required to install an Ignition Interlock device—a Breathalyzer in your car—for as long as you are on a Hardship License and for an additional 2 years when you obtain a regular license.

If you were arrested and released to appear in court for your “arraignment,” you’re probably wondering what to do and what to expect when you get to the courthouse.

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 or call (508) 930-4273 24/7 to discuss your situation with Attorney Higgins for free.

Second Offense DUI Laws In Massachusetts

The OUI law for a Second Offense can be difficult to read and understand. Below is a complete summary of the potential penalties provided under the law for a Second Offense OUI. This summary has been taken straight from Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24—the Massachusetts OUI law. Please call (508) 930-4273 to speak directly with Attorney Higgins should you have any questions.

Second Offense OUI Penalties: Anywhere between a $600 and $10,000 fine; and imprisonment of not more than 2.5 years in the House of Correction nor less than 60 days in the House of Correction. If the court orders a term of incarceration, it may not be suspended, nor can you be placed on probation, furlough, or be eligible for parole, or receive any reduction of your sentence until 30 days has been served. Most Second Offense OUIs, however, result in the Alternative Dispositions provided for by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24(1)(a)(4) and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D:

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, §24(1)(a)(4) Alternative Disposition: Up to 2 years of probation, a condition of which being that you attend a 14 day inpatient residential alcohol treatment program and that you participate in an outpatient aftercare. After reviewing your driver’s history, criminal record, and any information available as to your alcohol use, the court must make written findings that appropriate and adequate treatment is available to you in order for you to receive this disposition.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D Alternative Disposition: If the date of conviction of your First Offense is more than 10 years prior to the date of offense of your Second Offense, probation for up to 2 years with the condition of probation that you complete a driver alcohol education program. If your OUI resulted in serious personal injury or death to another, this disposition is not available.

Second Offense Fees and Fines: $250 Head Injury Assessment; $65/month Probation Service Fee; $50 Victims of Drunk Driving Fee; $250 Probation 24D Program Fee (if applicable); Driver Alcohol Education Program Fee (if Alternative Disposition under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D, amount to be determined by the Department of Public Health, but presently $567.22). 14-Day Residential Program Fee if you receive Alternative Disposition under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, §24(1)(a)(4).

Second Offense OUI License Loss: Unless the defendant receives the Alternative Disposition under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D which provides for a license loss of between 45 and 90 days, 2 years (12-Hour Hardship License eligibility 1 year after conviction).

Additional Breath Test-Related License Loss:

• If you are above the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: 3 Years
• If you are under the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: 3 Years
• 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 RUN CONSEQUTIVELY TO ANY BREATH TEST REFUSAL SUSPENSION. THERE ARE NO HARDSHIP LICENSES FOR THESE TYPES OF SUSPENSIONS.

Hardship License Requirements: Upon entry into the 24D Driver Alcohol Education Program, you can apply for a hardship license during your 45-90 day license loss, subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement. If you did not receive the Alternative Disposition under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D and suffered a 2-year license loss, you can apply for a hardship license 1-year after the disposition of your case, subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement. After 18 months from your conviction, you are 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: Second Offense DUI

Will I go to jail for a second DUI offense?

A Second Offense OUI is punishable by jail time. In most cases, however, you will qualify for an alternative disposition that will either include a period of probation or a suspended jail sentence. As part of this disposition, you will be required to attend a 14-Day Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Program. The sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, as well as your criminal record.

Can I get a “Cinderella License" if this is my second 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 Second Offense OUI, your license is suspended for a period of 3 years. If you win your case, upon order of the court, your license will be reinstated. If your prior offense occurred more than 10 years ago and you resolve your case in a fashion that includes entry into the First Offender’s Alcohol Education Program, you will be eligible for a Hardship License during this period of suspension. You will, however, be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for the period of suspension, plus 2 years on a new license. If you lose your case, an additional 2-year suspension will be imposed by the court. In this situation, you will not be eligible at the RMV for a Hardship License until 4 years into the aggregate 5-year suspension.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device? How will this affect me if this is my second DUI offense?

Simply put, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld Breathalyzer machine in your car. The machine is electronically connected to the vehicle’s ignition and requires that you demonstrate a BAC 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 two additional years on a regular license. This requirement applies to anyone convicted of a Second Offense OUI, even those whose prior offense occurred more than 10 years ago.

Will the jury know that this is my second offense?

No, the jury will not know that you have a prior OUI. 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.

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