Just as it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol, it is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. If you’ve been arrested for a Boston drug OUI, face potentially life-changing consequences if you are convicted. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has provided exceptional representation to clients charged with driving under the influence of drugs for more than 25 years. With his knowledge, dedication, and nuanced approach, he is well-suited to defend against even the toughest operating under the influence charges.What Drugs Form the Basis of a Boston OUI Drug Offense?
Under Massachusetts law, drivers are prohibited from driving under the influence of certain drugs. Not surprisingly, this includes illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, PCP, and methamphetamine. However, it is also against the law to drive while under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs. In fact, regardless of the type of drug in your system, there is no difference in the maximum penalty you could face.
There are two important things to understand about Massachusetts drug OUI laws. First, the government must specifically prove which drug you consumed. Thus, the prosecutor cannot argue that you were under the influence of some unknown drug. Second, you are only guilty of a drug OUI offense if you are under the influence of a drug named in the Controlled Substances Act.OUI Traffic Stops
One of the most common defenses in drug OUI cases involves challenging the traffic stop leading to your arrest. Police officers must have either probable cause or reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Similarly, police officers cannot ask everyone they stop to take a chemical test. In other words, they must have a reason for the request. If police officers exceed their authority during a traffic stop, any evidence they discover resulting from the stop cannot be introduced at trial—including their observations of any potential intoxication.Punishments for Boston Drug OUI Crimes
Massachusetts takes driving under the influence of drugs very seriously. And lawmakers provide for very strict punishments for those convicted of these offenses. For example, a first-time OUI conviction carries a maximum punishment of up to 2.5 years in a house of correction, a one-year license suspension and hefty fines and court costs, up to $5,000.
However, in reality, courts rarely hand down severe sentences for first-time offenders; especially for thsoe without a lengthy criminal record. Regardless, if you are convicted of a Boston OUI offense, you can expect the court will suspend your license, place you on probation, and order you to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs.
Courts are less sympathetic after the first offense. A second OUI conviction carries a term of imprisonment between 60 days (30 days may be stayed), a license suspension of two years, and up to $10,000 in fines. In addition, you must install an ignition interlock system on your vehicle for two years from the date you apply for a hardship license or get your license reinstated.
Unlike many other states, Massachusetts provides ways around minimum punishments for many first and second drug OUI convictions. An experienced Boston criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options. For example, in some cases, it may be possible to attend in-patient treatment instead of going to jail.Learn How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help You Fight OUI/DUI/DWI Charges
If you’ve been arrested for a Boston drug OUI offense, it is imperative that you quickly reach out to an attorney. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you may have one or more defenses that could result in an acquittal or the case being withdrawn. Even if dismissal is not an option in your case, Attorney Patrick Murphy can help you effectively navigate the system to reduce your overall exposure. With more than 25 years of hands-on experience representing clients in drug OUI cases across Suffolk County, Patrick Murphy can help ensure that your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.