If you have been convicted of OUI (Operating Under the Influence), one of the obvious questions that you will likely want an answer to is how long your conviction will remain on your record. The answer to that question is not as simple as you would hope, because there are two different records that will be impacted by this crime.
Read more below about the different ways that an OUI will end up on your record, and which records you will need to be aware of when you are seeking future employment, dealing with driving issues and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, criminal checks, and more. There are a few different outcomes to cases that will determine how your record will be impacted, but each are separate.
Contact us now to speak with an experienced legal professional about your OUI charges, possible punishments, and how we can work with you to build a strong defense and work towards the best possible outcome given your situation. Our experience with the Massachusetts court system will be a tremendous advantage for you as we fight for your rights and help you navigate this complicated, and sometimes overwhelming process.
What Records Are Impacted By an OUI?
When you are arrested for OUI, you are not immediately convicted—you will need to appear in court and have your case heard by a judge before your guilt is determined. However, you will have an OUI arrest on your criminal record, but it is important that you understand the difference between an arrest and a conviction. Massachusetts employers are not able to use your arrest records during a hiring process, but any convictions will show up on a CORI check and can be used during a hiring process to make a decision.
However, if your case is Continued Without a Finding (CWOF), dismissed, or expunged from your record, then you do not need to answer “yes” to the question of convictions regarding that case.
In addition to your criminal record, though, your driving record will be impacted upon being arrested for OUI. The impact that your arrest has on your record depends on a few different factors that can begin the moment you are arrested and are more seriously impacted if you are then convicted.
Criminal Records and OUI Convictions
When you are arrested for OUI, you will not immediately have a conviction on your record. We will represent you in court, fight on behalf of your defense, and work towards the best possible outcome, which may include a 24D Disposition, probation, an Alcohol Education program, fines and more, but would ultimately end with the charges being vacated. In this instance, you will not have an OUI conviction on your record. However, it is important to note that if you are arrested for another OUI, these vacated charges will be used as a previous conviction in order to apply appropriate enhancements to your charges.
If you are convicted of an OUI, your charges will remain on your record permanently. In very rare instances you may seek to have these charges expunged from your record, but OUI expungement is generally granted only in the instances of a stolen identity.
Massachusetts Driving Records and OUI
If you are arrested for OUI, the RMV generally treats the case as the court does, meaning that you are innocent until proven guilty. However, under the Massachusetts Implied Consent Law, the RMV will automatically suspend your license if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. In addition, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended if you fail a breathalyzer test. In both of these situations, you may be able to file an appeal in order to have your license reinstated for the duration of your case, but this appeal is time-sensitive.
An OUI conviction will stay on your driving record permanently, but you will be able to request to have it removed after 10 years. During the time that your OUI is on your driving record, it will impact your insurance rates, and will also play a factor in determining how long your license is suspended if you are charged with a subsequent OUI. In some states, there is something called a “lookback period,” which states that an OUI charge will only factor into future punishments for a certain period of time. However, Massachusetts is extremely strict with OUI laws, and has a lifetime lookback period, meaning that any previous conviction will always play a role in future charges.
Contact Us Now
If you have been arrested for OUI, the most important thing that you can do now is to hire an experienced and motivated attorney to help you build a strong defense and navigate your case towards a favorable outcome. OUI law is complicated, and there are many options available that only a lawyer with experience knows to consider and work towards, which will greatly impact the rest of your life.