Getting charged with multiple DUIs is a serious thing. Not only are the penalties more severe if convicted, but multiple DUIs mean the stakes are far higher. As a result, so is the pressure to find an experienced OUI/DUI attorney who can help build your defense.
Thankfully, the court will view every OUI/DUI charge on its own. So even if the consequences of a conviction are higher, the court case itself doesn’t have to be. By acquainting yourself with the DUI penalties you could be facing, and then reaching out to an attorney, you can dramatically improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Here are the basic things you should know about the Massachusetts DUI penalties for repeat offenders:
Mandatory Minimum Jail Time
The Massachusetts DUI penalties are very harsh—especially when it comes to jail time. And if you’re facing your third (or beyond) DUI in Massachusetts, then you’ll be facing a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor. A felony carries severe penalties with it, including mandatory time spent in jail.
Here’s the standard jail time for subsequent DUI convictions:
- Second DUI: Usually classifies as a misdemeanor, meaning you can qualify for dispositions that involve probation instead of jail time. If not eligible, second DUIs usually consist of 60 days to 2.5 years in jail.
- Third DUI: Classifies as a felony and requires 180 days (150 days is the minimum mandatory sentence) in jail and up to 5 years in state prison.
- Fourth DUI: Classifies as a felony and requires 1 year in jail and up to 5 years in state prison.
- Fifth DUI: Classifies as a felony and requires 2 years in jail and up to 5 years in state prison.
Lengthy License Suspensions
Any DUI charge in Massachusetts can have lengthy driver’s license suspensions attached to it. If you refuse the breathalyzer test at the time of the traffic stop or sobriety checkpoint, your license could be suspended for 3 years (if you have one prior DUI offense), 5 years (if you have two prior offenses), or a lifetime (if you have three or more prior offenses).
Meanwhile, if you take the test and fail, your license will be automatically suspended for 30 days. This may not sound as harsh as the penalties for refusing the test, but remember that taking the test provides the court with more evidence against you.
If you’re convicted of multiple DUIs in court, then your license suspensions will probably look something like this:
- Second DUI: Up to 2 years
- Third Offense: Up to 8 years
- Fourth Offense: Up to 10 years
- Fifth Offense: Lifetime Suspension
According to Massachusetts DUI law, license suspensions are also cumulative. So, if you refused a breathalyzer and were then convicted of a third DUI offense, you’d be facing a driver’s license suspension of 13 years. Five years for refusing the test with two prior offenses, and another 8 years for the third DUI conviction.
How to Fight the Penalties for Multiple DUIs
Facing multiple DUI charges can be a scary experience. The stakes are dramatically higher than they are for a first (or even second) DUI in Massachusetts, and the stress of the entire experience may feel overwhelming.
But don’t panic! Instead, get in touch with an experienced OUI/DUI attorney well-acquainted with Massachusetts DUI law. They’ll work alongside you to assess the details of your case and help you build a defense with the best odds of a positive outcome.