Many people who receive a driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OUI) charge, as it is known in Massachusetts, assume that the offense is relatively simple and thus believe they should represent themselves when the case comes to court. Each individual is entitled to do so. However, below are several facts to consider before making a decision.
Certain attorneys specialize in drunk driving defense. They understand the intricacies of the law and the administration of the court. Although you may have read up on issues such as blood alcohol content (BAC) levels and other requirements of the law, presenting your case in court is quite different and only an experienced OUI defense attorney is capable of effectively navigating the process and identifying defense opportunities.
An attorney may be able plea your sentence down to a lesser offense if the results are in any way in question. For example, if your BAC was on the cusp of the legal limit or the events as recorded by the police was inconclusive, an attorney may introduce this in court as support for a lesser offense. Examples of lesser offenses are reckless driving and a “wet reckless,” which is a type of reckless driving that means alcohol was involved.
A lesser offense matters, particularly given Massachusetts’s stringent OUI laws. A plea bargain can affect the amount of fines, jail time, education programs, and license suspension.
Given the severity of the penalties and the complications of Massachusetts law, it is strongly advised that you have legal representation for an OUI. Defending an OUI charge yourself could affect the rest of your life. If you’ve been charged with an OUI in Massachusetts, please contact us to speak with an experienced OUI attorney.