If you’ve been charged with an OUI in Massachusetts and are awaiting your court date, you may be wondering what’s going to happen if you’re convicted. In this blog, we’ll break down all the possible penalties for a first offense OUI.
In the state of Massachusetts, any person convicted of a first offense OUI will face financial consequences. If you’re a first-time OUI offender in Massachusetts, you’ll be required to pay a fine of between $500 and $5,000. The judge will decide the precise amount, but the typical amount is $1,380.00 to be paid over the course of your probationary period.
While a first-time OUI offender is not guaranteed to be sentenced to jail time, it is one of the possible penalties for an OUI in Massachusetts. If you’re convicted of an OUI, you can face a maximum of two and a half years incarcerated. While jail time for an OUI is rare, it does happen.
The Registrar of Motor Vehicles, or RMV, is notified of all OUI convictions. Once you’re convicted of a first-time OUI, your license will be suspended by the RMV for a period of one year. However, that can be reduced to 45-90 if you agree to participate in the Massachusetts Impaired Driving program (MID).
As of 2020, all persons convicted of an OUI in Massachusetts are at risk of being required to install an ignition interlock device (or IID) in their vehicles, even if it’s only a first offense if you submitted to a breath test with a reading of .15 or greater. An IID functions as a personal breathalyzer that checks for sobriety prior to allowing you to start your vehicle.
The above-described penalties are not the only state-imposed consequences for an OUI in Massachusetts. In addition to their fine, people convicted of OUIs will be required to pay a $250 assessment fee and a $50 OUI victim fund fee. Your OUI also never falls off your record in Massachusetts. Unless it’s sealed, the conviction will be visible for the rest of your life.
If you had drugs in your system when you were stopped and charged with your OUI, you may also be put on probation and required to complete substance education and rehabilitation courses.
There are also OUI consequences that are not imposed by the state or the RMV. These include higher car insurance rates, the hassle and expense of utilizing alternate transportation during a license suspension, legal fees, and so on.
While Massachusetts has some of the strictest OUI laws in the country, a first offense OUI is still only a misdemeanor. However, under certain circumstances, a first offense OUI charge can become a felony charge, carrying even more severe penalties. If you have been convicted 2 or more times in Massachusetts or out-of-state, you could be charged with a felony OUI.
Passengers in the vehicle while you were driving under the influence can impact the severity of your charges. For example, if a minor under the age of fourteen was present, this could earn you an additional charge for child endangerment. Similarly, the results of your time spent driving under the influence can impact your charges. If you caused significant bodily injury or death to another person while driving, you will face a felony charge for that.
Seek Help Now
Having an experienced OUI attorney to represent you in your OUI case will help you achieve the best possible outcome with the least potential penalties. Attorney James Milligan is one of the top OUI lawyers in Massachusetts and has been practicing exclusively OUI defense for twenty-five years. Contact him today for your free case evaluation.