Our guide to DUI charges in Massachusetts and how a criminal DUI lawyer can help
If you have found yourself facing DUI charges in Massachusetts, there are a number of variables that will impact the legal repercussions if convicted. Penalties can range from a hefty fine or license suspension to possible jail time. Regardless of the context, the best way to protect yourself and your future when facing DUI charges is to find yourself a criminal DUI lawyer to help with your case.
If you are in the Boston area and facing criminal charges relating to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, do not hesitate to contact us at the Law Office of Keren Goldenberg for a free consultation: 617-431-2701.
Defining “driving under the influence”
In Massachusetts, “drunk driving” is legally referred to as an OUI, or operating under the influence. Though most commonly referred to as “drunk driving” or DUI, it is all referring to the same thing: the State is charging you for allegedly operating a motorized vehicle while not sober, be it from alcohol or from narcotics. Criminal DUI lawyers help individuals facing such charges get acquited or at least help them get the minimum legal penalty.
Beyond standard OUI laws, Massachusetts has other alcohol and drug-related laws pertaining to operating vehicles. For example, it is illegal to have an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle while operating it. As outlined by the Massachusetts DMV, “[t]his means you can’t drive with an empty liquor bottle in your backseat, nor have a passenger drinking a can of beer. Break this law and you face a $100 – $500 fine.”
But what qualifies as driving under the influence?
Massachusetts stipulates that if the operator of a motor vehicle has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over the legal limit, they are breaking the law. A criminal DUI lawyer may have a client that is facing legal repercussions either because of a failed breathalyzer test or because they refused a breathalyzer test. The legal limit of an individual’s BAC depends on age and circumstance.
- 0.08% or higher―Drivers 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
- 0.04% or higher―Drivers operating commercial vehicles.
- 0.02% or higher―Drivers younger than 21 years old.
If lawfully arrested for an OUI, Massachusetts law mandates that the driver must consent to a breathalyzer test in order to determine his or her BAC. Otherwise referred to as the “implied consent” law, if you refuse to take the test, your license will be automatically suspended for 6 months if this is your first OUI offense (3 years suspension if you are under 21).
How can a criminal DUI attorney help?
Ultimately, in cases concerning DUIs, a criminal DUI lawyer has little wiggle room if their client is found guilty. In Massachusetts, many of the penalties and legal repercussions for an individual convicted of operating under the influence are mandated by statute. Put more simply, if found guilty, there is not much room for the judge to change the penalties.
However, a DUI attorney with experience and a breadth of extensive knowledge can help beat DUI charges. Keren Goldenberg, for example, and her team have successfully defeated multiple DUI charges in Lowell, MA. You can learn more about their strategies here.
It is crucial to protect yourself if you are facing OUI charges. If you are in this predicament, the best thing for you to do is hire an attorney with experience and knowledge who can help you understand your case and help you through the defense process.
You can learn more about OUI laws and penalities in Massachusetts here.