When you get arrested for an OUI, other criminal and non-criminal charges are often attached, so we can deal with those at the same time.
As part of my practice as a Massachusetts criminal lawyer, I concentrate my practice almost entirely on criminal and drunk driving / OUI defense. I also handle criminal charges relating to an OUI charge, such as if you were charged with Operating on a Suspended License or Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle at the same time as an OUI.
You can also get charged with a simultaneous criminal offense like a drug possession charge during the course of your OUI arrest. Other cases I take relate to driving charges, hardship licenses, or registry hearing issues.
If you are facing an Operating Under the Influence charge in MA, please take all the time you need to educate yourself by reading all the information here at my OUI site. It is not uncommon to have other criminal charges included with an OUI arrest, such as:
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Leaving the Scene of Property Damage
- Negligent Operation
- Reckless Driving / Driving to Endanger
- Operating on a Suspended License
- Operating an Unregistered Vehicle
- Operating an Uninsured Vehicle
- Possession of Alcohol (Minor)
- Possession of Drugs
- Failure to Stop for a Police Officer
If you’ve been charged with one of these criminal offenses either associated with an OUI arrest or on its own, call me to discuss the specifics of your situation at (781)380-7730.
Many of these charges are Under Chapter 90, Section 24 of the General Laws Of Massachusetts governing motor vehicle use.
Should I Be Worried That I was also Charged With Negligent Operation, Reckless Driving, Driving to Endanger, or Other Criminal Charges along with my DUI?
In most cases, it isn’t an issue. The OUI is the primary concern. The most common additional criminal charge is negligent operation of a motor vehicle, which is simply reckless driving.
Typically, the additional charge is not a big deal in a first offense case, and any penalty will be concurrent. It may cost you a little extra money, although I can sometimes get them dismissed. If we beat the case at trial, I can usually make the other charges go away, and if we decided to plead out, often the charges in most cases and additional sentencing of probation or license suspension is run concurrent (at the same time). In 2nd or 3rd offense cases, it gets a little trickier, but there are still a number of options we can employ.
I was also Busted for Drug Possession when they arrested me on the OUI Charge.
If during a post-arrest search they find an illegal drug like cocaine or an unauthorized prescription drug, that is something we can deal with. Marijuana is legal, unless it is an amount that the cops want to claim is for distribution, which is a more complicated discussion.
Most of the time it isn’t as bad as it sounds, but we will have to go over the facts in some detail to see if we can get the charge reduced or dropped.
Are the legal fees higher if there are additional criminal charges?
Generally, it’s no extra charge. If those offenses are confined to simple criminal charges that can be negotiated at the same time. I’ll wrap them up in the same fee for no additional cost, since, frankly, it’s not any extra work. Driving offenses like operating to endanger are all part of the same incident and get worked out at the same time. And even a simple drug possession most often no extra work either.
Only if you’ve got a more complicated extra criminal charge that might involve additional court dates or legal research will I have to charge you and additional retainer. But I would let you know all of that in advance.
What About Civil Moving Violations, Speeding, or Marked Lanes Violation?
Yes, it is common to get a relatively minor traffic charge as part of an OUI. The driving offense is often why you were pulled over in the first place. OUI stops very often involve civil charges, such as:
- Marked Lanes Violation
- Failure to Stop
- Open Container
- and more…
These are nothing to worry about. The criminal drunk driving charge is the only charge that matters.
I can often negotiate that these charges be dismissed in a plea negotiation, or after a not guilty if we fight your case at trial. It may not seem like a big deal, but making these offenses go away can often save you thousands in fines and increased insurance costs. It’s just a little something extra I try to do to help my clients out in every way I can.
Do You Handle Other Massachusetts Criminal Charges That Aren’t DUI Related?
Yes, the attorneys in my office are experienced at fighting a wide range of criminal charges. I wrote a book on fighting and winning Clerk Magistrate’s Hearings, which are preliminary evidentiary hearings in many criminal cases.
I or my experienced associates represent clients facing a wide variety of other criminal offenses in my office. Please call my office to speak with us about any criminal charge in Massachusetts.
We also have a Massachusetts Criminal Defense website with a wealth of information on a wide variety of criminal defense matters, including crime info, possible penalties, defense strategies, and a host of other information. We have extensive experience, and a tremendous record of successfully defending all kinds of criminal charges, including, drug possession, shoplifting, assault, and most other criminal offenses.
We can also help with the most serious types of criminal charges, such as vehicular homicide.
As top Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers, we share a philosophy across our firm of:
- Clear and Honest Communication with our Clients – We are always upfront with our opinions about your case, how we intend to defend you, and what you can expect – every step of the way.
- Free Consultations, with no obligation. Get to know us before you decide to hire us, or anyone else.
- A Tough, Relentless Criminal Defense: We tackle the state’s case head-on, with defense motions to dismiss, motions to suppress evidence, and whatever legal maneuvering is needed to make sure justice, and fairness, and most of all, the rights of our clients, prevail.
- Experience and Subject Matter Knowledge. A good criminal defense lawyer knows the criminal code backward and forwards, knows many of the judges and DAs, and knows what to expect, so he is always prepared. An attorney who doesn’t handle criminal defense all the time may not have the same depth of knowledge. Experience in real estate law isn’t going to help you fight a drug possession charge. When hiring any lawyer, always ask about his or her direct experience in cases like yours.
Criminal defense and drunk driving defense is all we do at my law office.
If you’ve been arrested or summonsed to court on a criminal charge, you need a top Massachusetts criminal lawyer to protect your rights. Please contact us and take the time to review my Massachusetts criminal defense info site. If you are charged with the crime, it makes sense to take advantage of a free consultation.
I also know many lawyers in other states who can help with local license issues if you live out of state. I represent many clients who live in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut and are licensed in those states, so I can refer you to local attorneys to help you work out suspended license issues in RI, or get a Connecticut Work Permit Driver’s License.
If you live in New Jersey, you may need a New Jersey Criminal Lawyer to help you with license reinstatement issues there.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions
I am a Massachusetts resident, but I was arrested in another state. Who do I need to represent me?
If you were arrested in a different state, you are subject to the laws and rules of that state and need a lawyer who is a member of the bar in the court where you are being tried. This situation comes up often, especially with people who live near the state borders, and work or travel frequently across the state line, or if they happen to have a Massachusetts driver’s license, and are worried about the implications of a driving-related charge in another state.
If I have a driving related criminal charge in another state, will my Massachusetts License be affected?
Probably, but it depends. If you are convicted, and your driver’s license is suspended as part of a plea or guilty finding by a court in another state, then that suspension almost certainly applies, and the Massachusetts Registry will be notified.
All states are on the National Driver’s License Compact, so criminal charge and license information is generally made available.
If it is an administrative penalty, such as a breath test refusal, or a cumulative civil penalty such as 3 moving violations in a year, or a habitual offender classification that is triggered by an offense out of state, then the answer is “it depends”. Consult with your attorney.
Make sure your contact information and address are current with the registry since if they do suspend your license for any criminal, civil, or administrative charge, you will want to know about that right away since driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense itself.
With any criminal offense in any state, always know that there is help available if you have quality legal representation. You always have the presumption of innocence under the law, and if the state cannot prove the facts against you beyond a reasonable doubt, you must be found not guilty.
Russell Matson, Attorney at Law