If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you are certainly facing fines, possible jail time and license suspension. License suspension can have a debilitating influence on a person’s life. We drive to get to work, pick up kids from school and to earn extra income. Before you go to court, it is helpful to know just how long your license may be suspended.
First Offense: When you are arrested for an OUI in The Bay State, you have the option of refusing a breathalyzer, but if you do so your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. The first time you are convicted of an OUI in Massachusetts, your license will be suspended for one year.
Second Offense: A second OUI offense comes with a two-year license suspension. Unlike a first offense, a second offense may come with an order to get an Ignition Interlock Device for two years after your license is reinstated. The device sits underneath your dashboard and works like a breathalyzer.
Third Offense: Multiple OUI offenses are taken very seriously in the state of Massachusetts, and a third offense comes with an eight-year suspension. You will have to get an interlock device. Fourth offenses come with eight-year suspensions and if you are convicted of an OUI a fifth time, your license will be permanently revoked.
Fines for an OUI license reinstatement can range from $100 to $1000. In some cases, you may have to take your driver’s license, written exam and road test before getting your license reinstated. You may also be required to take classes in subjects such as road rage, attitudinal adjustment and alcohol education.
There are some cases in which a driver with an OUI suspension may be granted a hardship or “Cinderella” license. A hardship license is issued when a person must drive to retain a job or attend to a family responsibility, and there is no public transportation available. A Cinderella license limits driving privileges to going to and from rehab, doctors appointments and driving education classes that are related to an accident. You may not obtain a hardship or Cinderella license for the first three months of a suspension.
Did Arresting Officer do Their Job Correctly?
If the arresting officer did not follow protocol, you may be able to have your case dismissed. Be sure they informed you of your rights and informed you of the reason you were pulled over.
Things Your Attorney Needs to Know
If you want to have the best outcome possible, you must hire a qualified and experienced Massachusetts lawyer. The public defender is overworked and they will not be able to give your case the attention it deserves. Bring them a copy of your arrest or accident report and let them know about any classes or volunteer work you have done since the accident. If you feel the arresting officer did not do their job correctly, be sure your lawyer knows why. The law firm you hire should be devoted to OUI in your city.
Getting your license back is one of the most critical things you need to do after an accident, and the right attorney can help you get back on the road.
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