Continuance Without a Finding

Respected Boston Defense Attorney Helps Clients Minimize the Impact of an OUI Arrest

If you’ve been arrested for a Boston OUI offense, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind. You may be wondering how an OUI conviction will impact your life. Will you lose your license? Will you need to go to jail? If so, how will you continue to support yourself and your family? For those without a lengthy record, a “continuance without a finding” (CWOF) may be a good option. However, accepting a CWOF is a major decision and one that carries its own set of risks. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is an experienced defense lawyer with significant experience helping clients effectively deal with drunk driving charges through litigation and negotiation. Regardless of your situation, Attorney Murphy can explain your options and help you pursue your chosen course of action.

What is a Continuance Without a Finding?

A CWOF is a type of plea you enter when charged with an OUI offense. When you enter a CWOF plea, you are not saying you are guilty or not guilty; instead, you are merely admitting that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict you. After accepting a CWOF, the court will place you on probation and impose several conditions of supervision. If you successfully complete the term, the case will be dismissed.

The terms of a CWOF can vary; however, they frequently include the following:

  • Participation in an alcohol-education class;
  • A 45 to 90-day driver’s license suspension;
  • Community service;
  • Court costs and fines;
  • Reporting to a probation officer;
  • Travel restrictions; and
  • Drug and alcohol testing.

For most purposes, a CWOF plea will not result in a conviction on your record. Thus, a CWOF is a good option for professionals who cannot have an OUI conviction on their record. However, it will count as a prior conviction if you are ever arrested again in the future. This means if you ever face another OUI charge, it will be considered a second offense and will carry more significant penalties.

Should I Try for a CWOF?

The first thing to note about a CWOF is that not everyone facing Boston OUI charges is eligible for a CWOF. The prosecution must agree to the plea. Thus, in most cases, a CWOF is only available to those who either do not have a prior OUI conviction or, if they do have one, it was a long time ago. Similarly, those with a significant criminal record may also be unable to obtain a CWOF.

However, just because a CWOF is on the table does not mean that you should take it. There are several things to consider when thinking about a CWOF. For instance, when you enter a CWOF plea, you are giving up your right to fight the case. So, if you or your attorney thinks that you could beat the case, entering a CWOF plea may be unwise. This may be because the officer who stopped you didn’t follow the required protocol leading up to your arrest or if the Commonwealth cannot prove you were driving the car. Additionally, the terms of a CWOF plea may be similar to a sentence for an OUI conviction. Thus, if there is any chance of challenging the evidence, you may opt to take the case to trial.

A continuance without a finding makes the most sense for people who have a lot to lose if they are convicted. For example, if your job will terminate your employment if you are convicted of a crime. However, a CWOF will still show up on some background checks and may prevent you from getting certain jobs. For example, you cannot drive for a rideshare company if you have a CWOF on your record.

The decision to seek out and accept a CWOF is complex and should only be made with the assistance of an experienced Boston OUI defense lawyer.

Are You Facing Drunk Driving Charges?

If you were recently arrested for a Boston OUI offense and worry about the impact a conviction could have on your record, contact the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy. Attorney Murphy has handled OUI cases for more than 25 years and has a keen understanding of the considerations that go into deciding whether to accept a continuance without a finding. He will attentively listen to your situation before advising you on how to proceed. To learn more about how an experienced lawyer can help you fight OUI/DUI/DWI charges, call the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 to schedule a free consultation today.

Client Reviews
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User