Being arrested for a DUI can cause serious issues in your life, including fines, losing your license, and even jail depending on the situation. In many states, a previous DUI will not be considered during a current DUI case as long as enough time has gone by, but this is not the case in Massachusetts. This means that if you got a DUI in 1975 and another in 2019, the first DUI will carry as much weight as a DUI from 2 years ago (unless there were additional factors, such as driving on a suspended license, etc). The Massachusetts “lookback period” is explained in greater detail below, but essentially, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will treat any previous DUI as a prior offense, even if it is criminally treated as a first offense.
The penalties for a DUI when you have a prior offense are increased significantly and will make your defense more complicated as you have already been found guilty of the same crime before. If you have been charged with a second (or more) DUI, contact us at OUI Attorneys as soon as possible to speak with an experienced OUI attorney in Massachusetts about your options, the circumstances of your arrest, your prior criminal record, and how we have handled previous cases like your own.
Read more below about how Massachusetts handles DUI cases when there are prior DUI arrests in the defendant’s records.
Multiple DUI Arrests in Massachusetts
When you are arrested and found guilty of a first-offense OUI or DUI in Massachusetts, it will be treated as a misdemeanor as long as there were no injuries sustained. There is no mandatory minimum sentencing, meaning that you are not immediately facing jail time, but there is a maximum of 30 months that you may get depending on the judge’s sentencing. In addition, you can lose your license for up to one year. In addition, you may be required to attend drug and alcohol abuse education courses, reinstatement fines and fees, as well as a possible Ignition Interlock Device.
A second DUI arrest comes with increased penalties, including possible jail time of between one month and 30 months. In addition, you will lose your license for a year, and will be fined for between $600 and $10,000. If there are additional issues, such as a child present in the vehicle, your penalties will be more severe than these, and your defense will need to be handled differently.
After your second DUI, the penalties for another arrest become increasingly severe. You may be subject to prison time of between 6 months and 5 years, fines of between $1,000 and $50,000, and could lose your license for between 2 years and permanently. Each of these repeat DUI offenses will also require that you install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle that you must blow into before you are able to turn it on, to ensure that you are not driving after consuming alcohol.
In Massachusetts, your 4th DUI will be the last DUI that you will have any chance of getting your license reinstated after serving your sentence, paying your fines, and fulfilling the rest of your requirements. A 5th DUI means that you will lose your license permanently, and will be subject to steep penalties that will be enhanced based on any other factor of your arrest, your criminal record, and more.
What To Do If You Are Arrested For Multiple DUIs
If you have been arrested for more than one OUI or DUI over your entire life in Massachusetts, it is absolutely essential that you hire an experienced OUI attorney who can help you navigate the harsh, complex legal system of Massachusetts OUI and DUI convictions. Call us now for a free initial consultation, where you will be able to speak with an attorney about your current legal issues, your prior arrests and criminal records, and any additional details or charges that may complicate your case and lead to higher penalties.
Our experience will be a great asset to you as we help you get through this case and work towards a ruling that is fair and reasonable. Contact us now to get working on your situation, and we will develop a defense for you that will ensure that your rights are upheld and your case outcome is positive.