If you have a previous conviction for drunk driving, I know you are especially concerned about your options. The prospect of being a “multiple” offender has significant implications for your driver’s license and your future.
I try to provide my clients with the most information I can, so they will feel as comfortable as they can about the stressful process of facing a second offense drunk driving charge.
If you can’t find an answer to your question, please call me about your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About 2nd Offense Charges:
- Should I fight the case or work out a deal?
- What happens if I fight the case, and how long will it take?
- What is an ignition interlock device?
- How long did I lose my license for?
- Am I going to jail?
- How and when am I able to get my full license back?
Most people charged with a second offense OUI in Massachusetts have very little to lose when fighting the case and a lot to gain. If you refuse the breath test then you are going to lose your license for three years and if you are found guilty for a second offense there is an additional two year loss of license and you will only be eligible for a hardship license a year into the two years. That means you won’t be eligible for a hardship license for four years into the five years. I have a number of cases that I have fought and won and the judge then reinstated my client’s license after a not guilty verdict so a day after the trial my clients were back out on the road.
For clients that have failed the breath test there is a thirty day loss of license but then the clients can get their license reinstated after that thirty days. If we win the case then we avoid the two-year loss of license as well as a minimum two-week inpatient alcohol education program, the guilty finding on your record and having to install the ignition interlock device.
If you have been charged with a second offense and your prior offense is more then ten years old, then for some clients it does make sense to work out a deal if we can get the alternative disposition where the court will place you in a first offender alcohol education program and you can get back on the road within a few weeks.
Also see my 14 reasons to fight the case.
We will take the case to trial in front of either a judge or a jury and it will take us some number of months. There may be 2 or 3 court dates before a trial, which will probably be 6 months out. For a jury trial, it could take a total of 6 months to a year for the case to be resolved.
In some circumstances, it is possible to skip preliminary motions and schedule a bench trial immediately. This usually limits our defense options, so it does have disadvantages, but it may give you a chance to resolve the case in 2 months or less.
An ignition interlock device is an in-car alcohol breath screening device that prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a pre-set limit. The device is located inside the vehicle, near the driver’s seat, and is connected to the engine’s ignition system. Anyone with 2 OUI convictions will need to get an interlock device installed in their car as a condition of a license reinstatement or hardship license.
It is rare to get jail time for a second offense OUI.
If you are found guilty of a 2nd offense, your license will be suspended for 2 years, with additional administrative penalties, usually totalling 3 years without a license. At that point, you will be eligible for a license with an ignition interlock requirement.
The Maximum Penalty for a second offense OUI conviction is 2 ½ years in jail, fines up to $10,000, and a 2-year license suspension.
I’ve never had a second offense client get jail time. Presumably, it would take an extreme set of circumstances for that to ever happen.
Call me anytime, 24 hours a day for a free phone consultation about Massachusetts DUI laws and how they may apply to your case. I’ll tell you exactly what I can do to help you, and answer any questions you may have. No obligation!
Attorney Russell Matson (781)380-7730