If you have been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts, it is essential to retain an experienced OUI defense attorney. Massachusetts, like many other states, takes a tough stance when it comes to drunk driving, and you will need a tough lawyer to act as your voice and your guide.
All OUI charges are serious, and the consequences could be license suspension, probationary periods, alcohol programs, fines, fees, and much more. For certain repeat OUI offenders, the consequences could well entail jail time (or even mandatory jail time).Frequently Asked Questions
Is There a Difference Between Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drunk Driving?
No! In Massachusetts, if a driver is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, he or she is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol—not drunk driving. There is no such charge as “drunk driving” in Massachusetts. The reason is simple. To be charged with or convicted of this type of offense, the driver does not have to be drunk but only “under the influence.” In fact, the Massachusetts Jury Instruction tells the jury that a person does not have to be drunk. Simply put, the Commonwealth has to prove that the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was impaired by alcohol.
What Does the Government Have to Prove to Secure a Conviction?
In order to get a conviction for this type of offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant was operating the car;
- The defendant was under the influence of alcohol;
- The defendant was operating the car on a public way.
The most litigated element is whether the driver was “under the influence.” However, the other two elements are frequently issues at trial. For example, “operation” of the car is not just simply driving the car down the road. Depending on the circumstances simply having the key in the ignition and listening the radio or having the heat on is considered “operation” in Massachusetts.
In order to prove the “public way” element, the government must prove that the “operation” of the vehicle took place on a way in which the public has access or the right to access. Thus, store parking lots are considered public ways. The Commonwealth generally elicits testimony that the roads were paved where the defendant was pulled over, that there were streetlights, that there were marked lines and/or that the way was maintained by the town or city. The typical areas that are NOT considered public ways would be driveways or garages. Of course, an experienced OUI trial attorney always focuses on this element as it is often overlooked by prosecutors focusing on the other two factors that must be proved. If the prosecutor fails to get the necessary information describing the way from the witness then a motion for a required finding should be requested and should be allowed if the Commonwealth failed to meet its burden on this element of the crime.Aggressive Defense to Meet Clients’ Individual Needs
OUI clients come from all walks of life. All kinds of people find themselves accused of drunk driving, and The attorney tailors her approach to OUI defense to her clients’ unique needs. Some may want to exercise their trial rights and fight the case until the end. In such circumstances, the aggressive representation of an experienced trial lawyer like the attorney becomes absolutely invaluable. Others may want a swift resolution to their cases so that they can get a hardship license and get back on the road. In those circumstances, the criminal attorney can use her superior negotiating skills and make sure that the resolution is handled as fairly and promptly as possible. She can also help obtain a hardship or “Cinderella” license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Many clients will have needs and wishes somewhere in between these two opposites, and the attorney adapts her representation accordingly, providing the best possible advice.Experienced Criminal OUI Lawyer, Proven Results
The attorney’s ability to provide outstanding advice and representation is the product of many years of experience. For more than 25 years, she has been successfully handling OUI/DUI/DWI cases from both sides of the courtroom. For good reason, she is recognized as one of the best and brightest OUI lawyers in Massachusetts. The attorney’s case results serve as support for her first-rate reputation. The attorney handles DUI/OUI/DWI cases in every city and town in the state, so call her no matter your location.
The attorney encourages calls and communication 24 hours a day and 7 days a week because the importance of immediate attorney consultation cannot be emphasized enough. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better protected you will be. the attorney has offices in two locations. One office is located in downtown Boston on Congress Street. Another is located in North Andover on Sutton Street. No matter where you are, you can easily reach one of her offices for an informative and reassuring visit. Take your OUI charge seriously and contact an excellent OUI lawyer right away.
The following links provide additional information on operating under the influence in Massachusetts.