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Commonwealth v. Ananias Allows Defendants to Overturn Convictions From Faulty Breathalyzers

close up of breath alcohol tester

For approximately 8 years, from June of 2011 through April 17, 2019, the Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) used unreliable breath tests to prosecute defendants. Now, over 27,000 citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be able to have their operating under the influence (OUI) convictions overturned, vacate pleas, or receive new trials. Prosecutors have been working to notify defendants of their so-called “Ananias rights” due to intentional OAT misconduct that came to light in the case of Commonwealth v. Ananias.

The judge in the case determined that all breath test results from the 9510 breath testing device from 2011 through April 17, 2019, are “presumptively unreliable” due to improper calibration and OAT’s failure to turn over evidence. As such, defendants with drunk driving convictions can return to court and request their convictions be overturned.

Cases involving motor vehicle homicide, serious bodily injury, and 5 or more OUI offenses are exempt.

Notices Sent

As part of the court order in Commonwealth v. Ananias, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to send out more than 27,000 notices to defendants affected by the ruling. If you receive one of these notices, you should contact an attorney right away.

Even if you don’t receive notice, you may want to speak to a lawyer if your OUI conviction involved a breath test. Having an OUI conviction removed could improve your life and have a positive impact on your criminal record, driver’s license, employment opportunities, housing eligibility, and more.

Rebuilding Confidence in the Criminal Justice System

The court’s corrective action is an effort to “rebuild confidence in the criminal justice system,” which is based on fairness above all. Still, to make the criminal justice system work for you, you need a good attorney.

At Flanagan & Associates, we focus our practice on OUI/DUI cases and breath and blood tests. Attorney Dave Flanagan is a top-rated lawyer on Avvo, and our firm has a history of successful case results.

We provide personalized care and excellent customer service to each and every client we help, and we are available 24/7 for phone and video consultations.

When you need us, we are here. Call us at (781) 332-4344 or contact us online to get started today.