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Second Offenses of OUI

Quincy DUI Lawyer

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OUI) is already a serious offense in Massachusetts. What can worsen the situation, however, is when the driver suspected of the crime has already been convicted of an OUI in the past. Second-time OUI offenders face the risk of receiving harsher punishments if they are convicted again. That can equate to longer prison terms, higher fines and longer suspensions of their driving privileges.

Having to deal with a second OUI can be an extremely stressful situation that can have major ramifications on one's life. For that reason, it is important that drivers in this situation do not try to handle their cases alone. There are many ways in which a Quincy OUI attorney can help drivers challenge the charges that are being brought against them. Second-time offenders should be aware of the potential penalties they face, as well as the steps they can take to properly defend themselves.

Possible Imprisonment and Fines

When a faces a second OUI offense, his or her finances and quality of life can be severely impacted. If the individual has previously been convicted of OUI or has previously been assignment to a drug or alcohol program because of a similar offense, he or she can be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 180 days to 2 ½ years. The conviction can also lead to a fine ranging from $600 to $10,000, according to Massachusetts' General Laws Chapter 90, §24(1)(a)(1) (2012).

The convicted individual would not be eligible to have his or her sentence reduced to less than 30 days or suspended. This person would also not be eligible for probation, parole, furlough or sentence deduction for good conduct until after the 30-day mark of the prison term.

Because the defendant would only have one previous offense, he or she could potentially be eligible for probation and assignment to a drug or alcohol program, which could include participation in a residential treatment program and an out-patient counseling program.

Loss of Driving Privileges for Second-Time Offenders

An individual does not need to actually be convicted in order to have his or her license suspended. All it takes is a chemical test showing that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was above the legal limit while operating a vehicle.

In addition to that, further license suspension and revocation can be inflicted on a driver after he or she is actually convicted. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can even suspend a driver's license if the individual suspected of OUI refuses to submit to a chemical test, such as a breath test or a blood test.

Generally, someone with a breath test who shows a BAC above the legal limit will receive a 30-day suspension, but this can be extended if the driver committed is being accused of an underage OUI offense. Upon conviction, a second-time offender's license can be suspended or revoked for two years.

It can be suspended for three years if the driver refuses to participate in a chemical test. Those with a second or subsequent OUI offense can be forced to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in his or her vehicle, which requires to driver to take a breath test each time before driving.

Quality Legal Representation on Your Side

If you are facing a second OUI offense, the prosecution will most likely try to use your previous record as ammunition against you. Because of that, you will need a strong attorney by your side who fully understands the law and who knows how to protect your rights. A good attorney will be able to dissect the facts of your case and identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution's allegations against you.

Attorney Dave Flanagan is a Quincy OUI lawyer who aggressively advocates for his clients. As a former private investigator, he knows how to analyze the important details and use them build a strong defense. Don't leave your future up to fate. Take control of your situation by retaining a knowledgeable professional to handle your case.

Contact our firm in Quincy or Weymouth for more details about how set up a free consultation and case evaluation.