Facing criminal charges can be an incredibly stressful and difficult experience. You’ve been arrested and booked, and now your fate is in the hands of lawyers, judges, and possibly a jury. You may be worried about going to jail, or going through an extended period without a driver’s license.
These tips may help you work through the problem step by step and feel more comfortable about where you are and what will happen to you.
1. Recognize that you’ve already made it through one of the toughest parts
Being arrested, handcuffed, booked, and put in a jail cell is a horrible experience. Most people tell me that that experience of being arrested – having no control, and not knowing what may happen to you – is the worst part of the process.
If you aren’t facing jail time (such as for 3rd OUI offense) that’s probably true for you, too. You may still have a lot of stress ahead of you, but for the most part it can be planned for, and managed.
2. Get Informed & Educate Yourself
Knowing what you are up against, both the most likely outcome and even the worst case scenario, can reduce the stress of “the unknown”.
Know what your potential license loss is based on a breath test failure or refusal, whether you will be eligible for a hardship license, and visually how you will get on with your life after your OUI case is settled. And the more you know, the better questions you can ask an attorney, so you won’t feel surprised by anything.
3. Find out how the law applies if your specific situation.
You’ve found this site, so you are already taking care of step two. Good. So you’ve learned a little bit about the potential OUI penalties and license loss you may face, the and options you have in taking your case to trial or pleading guilty.
Your next step is to figure out how the facts apply in your situation by speaking with an experienced Massachusetts OUI lawyer who is qualified to assess the facts of your case.
4. Get the Right Lawyer to Help you
The attorney you hire will make a tremendous difference in how you feel about your case. Of course you’ll want to get a lawyer who absolutely knows his stuff about how to fight and win OUI cases. But more than that, you’ll want someone who can help you understand the process, answer your questions, and hopefully lighten the mood, and make a bad situation as tolerable as possible.
There have been many times I’ve been hired by people who’ve spoken to other lawyers who simply didn’t make them feel comfortable. Some lawyers try to force people into quick decisions without listening and given them the information they need.
My staff and I are as dedicated to customer service as we are to legal service. I’ve people tell me they’d already decided to hire me before I even got a chance to speak to them! All they did was read this site, and speak to my extremely helpful and sympathetic assistant Melissa to make the decision that my firm was who they wanted to represent them. And I’m proud of that.
5. Get Support from Friends, Family and Professionals if Needed.
Get help and use your support system. Try not to be around people who judge you harshly for what happened.
Also look for help where you need in dealing with your license loss and transportation issues.
If you feel you may have an alcohol problem, getting treatment can be a great comfort to you, and help you move past a bad time in your life.
6. Don’t Obsess
Once you’ve become informed about your case, and hired a good lawyer, you’ve done pretty much all you can do. If you are fighting the case, it can take six months or more to resolve.
Try not to spend too much time obsessing about things that are out of your control. Find ways to relax and distract yourself from thinking about your case. Go to the movies, or do whatever you can to relax and think about more pleasant activities.
7. Realize that you are Same Person as Before
If you got arrested for OUI – whether you got screwed by the system, or just made a mistake – realize that these things happen. You aren’t a bad person, so don’t get down on yourself. Getting arrested on an OUI charge is one of those strange things that could happen to almost anyone with a little bad luck. And that absolutely true no matter what the ultimate outcome is – whether you plead guilty, or go to trial, win or lose.
If you are anxious, nervous, or stressed out about an OUI charge in Massachusetts, call me anytime for a free consultation at (781) 380-7730. I’ll listen to you, give you some free advice, and help you figure out what the best option is for you. You have nothing to lose by calling.
Russell Matson, Massachusetts OUI Trial Attorney