If you are arrested and charged with your first or second OUI (Operating Under the Influence) in Massachusetts, one of the best options for your case is to work with the judge and agree to complete an Alcohol Education Program as an alternative to the possible consequences that you are initially facing. During this program, you will have the opportunity to learn about the dangers of alcohol, the importance of drinking responsibly, recognizing signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse, and the importance of sober driving.
Successful completion of this program, in addition to agreeing and adhering to a series of other stipulations, might ultimately result in a 24D Disposition, meaning that in lieu of the penalties and an OUI conviction, you may get off with probation, alcohol education courses, a license suspension, and fines. If you successfully complete your 24D but are arrested for a subsequent OUI, this first case will be used to enhance any and all future charges.
Read more about what to expect in an Alcohol Education Program, and contact us now to discuss whether or not this is an appropriate option for you to seek. We will work aggressively to help get your penalties reduced, while also getting you help and support that may be extremely helpful in the future.
Alcohol Education After a First OUI
If you go through the Massachusetts court system after a first OUI charge and agree to an alcohol education program, you will take a 40-hour course, likely over the course of 16 weeks, as part of the agreement you will make with the judge. You will need to pay for this course out of pocket, which is around $600, in addition to your court fees and legal costs.
You will be required to attend a series of group meetings, a one-on-one intake session, as well as attending support group meetings in your area like Alcoholics Anonymous. This program is intended to teach you about the dangers of alcohol, the impact that it has on peoples lives, and is intended to give you perspective on your own decisions involving alcohol use and abuse.
Alcohol Education After a Second OUI
If you are arrested for an OUI and have a prior OUI conviction, the next option that we will work towards in order to seek a reduced sentence may be an inpatient alcohol education program. During this intensive program, you will attend multiple group sessions each day, as well as one-on-one sessions where you will discuss your use and abuse of alcohol, the decisions you have made while under the influence of alcohol, and how these decisions have impacted your life and the lives of others around you. These courses cost nearly $1000, and also do not include your legal costs or court fees.
Benefits of Alcohol Education Following an OUI Charge
A first or second OUI conviction in Massachusetts can have a serious impact on your life, including but going far beyond the fact that you will lose your license for an extended period of time. In addition, you will have the conviction on your record, and any potential employer will see the conviction during a CORI check. An OUI conviction can have major impacts on your ability to find a job.
By agreeing to take an alcohol education program, you are signaling to the court that you understand the error fo your decision to drive drunk and that you are willing to reflect on the role that alcohol has played in your life, and how you can make better decisions moving forward. Under a 24D Disposition, this willingness to reflect and change can help you avoid lengthy license suspensions, major fines, and ultimately, an OUI conviction on your criminal record.
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This probationary period will come with additional stipulations and requirements, and if you fail to meet these requirements or violate the restrictions of your agreement with the courts, you will end up with a conviction. It is important that you understand how serious you need to treat this education program and the rest of the agreements that you must accept in order to begin your 24D disposition and avoid more serious penalties.
We will work with you to ensure that you fully understand all of these requirements, the risks of not meeting these requirements, and how this agreement will affect the rest of your life and how you should treat it moving forward. But first, we will work towards avoiding your conviction, to begin with.