If you have been arrested and charged with OUI (Operating Under the Influence) in Boston, we understand that you are going to have a lot of questions about what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. These charges can be overwhelming, and the penalties for an OUI conviction in Massachusetts can have an impact for the rest of your life. That is why it is important that you work with the right attorney through your case, and make sure that you are fighting for the best possible outcome for your situation.
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about OUI arrests, charges, and convictions, but we additionally offer a free consultation where you can ask questions as they specifically relate to you. During this consultation, you will be able to learn about why choosing The OUI Attorneys will be a great decision for your case, how we have helped people in situations similar to your own, and get some advice about the most appropriate next steps to take given the circumstances of your arrest and charges.
Read more below to find answers to some common OUI questions, and contact us immediately to begin working on your case today.
Should I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, because of the variety of factors that you will need to consider. If you refuse a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended by the Registry of Motor Vehicles under the Massachusetts Implied Consent Law. If you have no prior OUIs, then your license will be suspended for 180 days. If you have a prior OUI conviction or are under the age of 21, your license will be suspended for three years. If you have two prior OUI convictions, your license will be suspended for five years. If you have three prior convictions and refuse a breath test, your license will be suspended for life.
It is important to understand that your OUI attorney will fight to have the results of your breathalyzer test suppressed in court. However, failing your breath test will automatically result in a 30-day license suspension from the RMV, separate from any criminal convictions.
Is Refusing a Breathalyzer an Admission of Guilt?
Refusing a breathalyzer test is not an admission of guilt, but as discussed in the previous question, can cause further complications to your situation. If you refuse the breath test we may be able to appeal your automatic license suspension in person at the Boston RMV, but these appeals are only granted under very specific circumstances.
Consider your options and the corresponding consequences before deciding whether or not to submit to a breath test if an officer requests that you take one.
I Refused a Breath Test, Can I Appeal My Automatic License Suspension?
If you refuse a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended by the RMV. You will be able to appeal this suspension within 15 days of your arrest, but there are limited circumstances where this appeal will be approved.
What Is a Hardship License?
A hardship license is a limited license that may be issued to someone convicted of OUI so that they may avoid situations what would otherwise cause serious hardship were they not able to drive. Massachusetts considered issues relating to schooling, employment, and medical needs to be eligible for this license, but it is not guaranteed that you will be granted one.
Am I Eligible For a Hardship License?
In order to be eligible for a Massachusetts hardship license, you must first have served a certain amount of suspension time depending on your history of OUIs.
- First OUI – 3 months suspension served
- Second OUI – 1-year suspension served
- Third OUI – 2 years of your license suspension served
- Fourth OUI – 5 years of your suspension served
- Fifth OUI – No possibility for a hardship license, lifetime ban of driving privileges
In addition to serving an initial suspension time, you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for the duration of your hardship license.
Will I Need To Install an Ignition Interlock Device?
If you have been convicted of one OUI, you will not be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle upon having your license reinstated. However, if you are approved for a hardship license you will be required to use an IID for the duration of this limited license.
If you have been convicted of two, three, or four OUIs, you will be required to use an IID for a 2-year period once your license is reinstated. Note that if you are approved for a hardship license, you will be required to use an IID for the duration of this limited license, but this time will not count towards the two years you must use the IID once granted your full license.
When Should I Hire an OUI Attorney in Massachusetts?
The sooner you hire an attorney, the better. There are many different time-sensitive issues that will impact the way your trial, license suspension, and other issues play out, meaning that calling an attorney the moment you are released following your arrest is the best decision you can make.
How Are Drugs Other Than Alcohol Handled In OUI Stops?
If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, you will likely be asked to submit to a series of field sobriety tests, as well as a blood or urine test. If the Boston police officer believes that you are not in control of your mental and physical abilities are impaired due to drug use, you will be charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.
If you are caught in possession of controlled substances, you will also be charged with possession.
Can I Expunge an OUI Conviction From My Record?
Having an OUI conviction expunged from a criminal record is highly unlikely. Most often, these requests are granted to individuals who had their identities stolen, and someone else used their identity during the arrest.
You are able to request that an OUI is removed from your driving record after 10 years, meaning that your insurance premiums will be able to come back down. However, there is a lifetime lookback period for OUI in Massachusetts, meaning that even if it is removed from your driving record, it will still be factored into any future punishments.