OUI & Drug Charges in Quincy and Hingham, MA
Experienced Quincy OUI & Drug Defense Lawyer
The more common and easier understood OUI cases involve drinking and driving. In Massachusetts, it is likewise against the law to drive while under the influence of certain drugs. The penalties for drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs are the same but OUI & drug cases are usually harder to prove. The average person has a reasonable understanding of the effects of alcohol on a person's ability to drive safely. Asking jurors to decide an OUI case based on the influence of a certain drug on a driver is often beyond their knowledge and understanding.
The prosecution relies on specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to explain the different types of drugs and their side effects. There are simply not enough qualified DREs to testify in OUI & drug cases and the courts dismiss many cases for that reason. Flanagan & Associates are committed to helping clients facing serious OUI/DUI allegations and offer an aggressive defense. It is important to have an attorney by your side at the time of arrest, at arraignment, and throughout each legal proceeding in your OUI & Drug case.
Drug Categories in Massachusetts
The types of drugs that can impair drivers can include the following:
- Cannabis – marijuana, hashish
- Stimulants – cocaine, crack, amphetamines, methamphetamines
- Narcotics – opium, codeine, heroin, morphine, methadone
- Depressants – barbiturates, anti-anxiety tranquilizers
- Inhalants – vapors from glue and other substances
Some examples of narcotics are Vicodin and Oxycontin. Narcotics reduce pain, create euphoria and change mental state. Depressants slow down the operation of the body and the mind. Some examples of depressants are Valium, Librium, Xanex, Prozac, Thorazine, and Paxil. Inhalants tend to have mind altering effects. Stimulants speed up the heart and blood pressure. Cases that involve the use of illegal substances and prescription medications while driving are often much more complex than drunk driving cases.
OUI & Drug Penalties in Massachusetts
A first time offender has the option of completing a state-approved education program to reduce an OUI sentence. Only first time offenders can take advantage of this opportunity.
The penalties for OUI & drug convictions are the same for OUI & alcohol cases. In addition to the penalties, the court can assess a fine, part of which goes to the Head Injury Treatment Trust Fund and the reminder to the general fund. An OUI & drugs penalties are as follows:
- First offense - Fine of $500-$5,000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 ½ years; 1 year driver's license suspension
- Second offense – Fines of $600-$10,000; imprisonment from 30 days – 2 ½ years; 2 years driver's license suspension
- Third offense ( felony) – Fines of $1,000-$15,000; imprisonment from 150 days-5 years; 8 year driver's license suspension
- Fourth offense (felony) – Fines of $5,000-$25,000; imprisonment of 1-5 years; 10 year driver's license suspension
- Fifth offense (felony) – Fines $20,000-$50,000; imprisonment of 2-5 years; lifetime driver's license suspension
Although OUI & drug cases are harder to prove, they are becoming more common with the wide use of prescription medications and other substances. There is an effort made to train law enforcement so they can certify as drug recognition experts.
Retain Legal Counsel
You may have been arrested and face serious OUI & drug charges but that does not mean that you will automatically be convicted and sentenced to jail. On the other hand, you may face OUI & Drug charges are innocent. It is always best to have an attorney by your side at each step, providing a strong defense, and presenting your side of the case. The lawyer you chose to represent you can make a difference in the outcome of your case. My firm is experienced in all aspects of OUI & drug cases.
for help with an OUI & drug defense today!