Felony OUI/DUI Attorney in Quincy
Proudly Serving Hingham & Surrounding Areas
Under Massachusetts State law, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. That threshold is set at .04% for commercial drivers and even lower at just .02% for drivers under the age of 21. The .08% measurement is the standard used to calculate "impairment" across the United States. In the state of Massachusetts, DUI is referred to as OUI, which means "Operating Under the Influence." The state of Massachusetts has also enacted what is known as "Melanie's Law," this law was enacted in 2005 and it served to increase Massachusetts drunk driving penalties.
While the majority of OUI offenses are prosecuted as misdemeanors, certain multiple offenses are prosecuted as felonies. In Massachusetts, a third OUI offense and subsequent offenses are prosecuted as felonies. While drivers who are arrested on a first-time simple OUI offense may have the option of getting their sentence reduced by completing a state-approved alcohol education program, this favorable option simply isn't available on second and subsequent offenses.
Third OUI Offense (felony)
- Fines ranging between $1,000 and $15,000
- Incarceration from 180 days to 5 years
- Ignition Interlock Device Required (at your own expense)
- Eight years driver's license suspension
Fourth OUI Offense (felony)
- Fines ranging between $1,500 and $25,000
- Imprisonment from 2 to 5 years
- License suspension for 10 years
- Ignition Interlock Device required (at your own expense)
Fifth OUI Offense (felony)
- Fines ranging between $2,000 and $50,000
- Imprisonment from 2.5 years to 5 years
- Permanent license suspension
Additional Factors in an OUI Case
While penalties for OUI vary widely from state to state, in our state, OUI is a serious criminal offense. If you choose to do nothing and accept your arrest and criminal charges, you can easily expect to pay thousands of dollars in fines, court costs and insurance fees. What's more, in Massachusetts, moving violations and accidents cost drivers mandated insurance surcharges on peoples' auto insurance; therefore, it's absolutely critical to enlist the services of a qualified Quincy OUI lawyer if you want to fight your charges, and have a chance of getting your penalties significantly reduced.
Additional consequences of a felony OUI conviction include:
- Towing costs
- License suspension reinstatement fees
- Court costs
- Insurance surcharge
- Ignition interlock device IID installation and monthly maintenance
- Skyrocketing insurance premiums upon license re-instatement
If you were arrested for a felony OUI/DUI and you had a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle, then you also face child endangerment charges. If you are a parent and this was your child, you could face up to 2 1/2 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines upon conviction, and you will lost your right to drive for one year.
Melanie's Law was implemented in October of 2005 and since then, if you receive a second or subsequent conviction for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle that you drive, that is if you are granted a hardship license by the court. What's more, the IID must remain installed in your vehicle for two full years after your driver's license is reinstated. If you do get a hardship license, then you can expect to have an IID installed throughout the hardship period and for two years after your license is reinstated.
Generally, an individual will be charged with a felony OUI if he or she:
- Was under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, marijuana, stimulants, depressants or the vapors of glue
- Was operating in a place where the public has access as licensees or invitees
- Endangered the lives and safety of the public
- Caused serious bodily injuries to someone else due to driving in a reckless or negligent manner
OUI with serious bodily injuries under § 24L (1) of the Massachusetts General Laws is punishable by up to a maximum of $10,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.
Contact the Firm if You are Facing Felony OUI Charges
If you are convicted of Vehicular Homicide in connection with OUI, and you have a conviction for a prior OUI that required you to complete an Alcohol Education Program, then your license to operate would be revoked for life. What's more, Massachusetts Department of Transportation does not grant hardships for people who are convicted of these offenses. If you have been arrested for a third OUI, Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter, then your situation is extremely serious.
I strongly urge you to contact me at my firm, Flanagan & Associates to discuss your criminal charges and the best legal strategy to employ in your defense. I am proud to serve the residents of Quincy, Weymouth and the greater South Shore area in all of their OUI defense needs;
contact a Quincy DUI lawyer today so we can get started protecting your future and your freedom.