Facing a Boston drunk driving charge is bad enough, but if there was an accident involved, things get even more serious. However, there are defenses that may be available in these cases. If you are charged with a Boston OUI accident case, reach out to the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for assistance. Attorney Murphy aggressively defends individuals charged with all types of OUI offenses.OUI Accident Investigations
In most OUI arrests, police officers observe something about your driving that raises suspicion about your possible intoxication. For example, maybe you crossed the center line one too many times and then failed to use a turn signal. The police officer will then pull you over and, if they notice the smell of alcohol or any other sign of intoxication, they may ask you to take a breath or blood test.
However, DUI accidents are a little different. Most often, police officers show up after the fact, meaning they have no opportunity to observe you driving. Thus, while a police officer can request you take a blood or breath test after an accident, they must be able to identify a reason why one is justified—officers cannot request everyone who is involved in an accident take a chemical test.
As the driver, this puts you in a tough spot. On one hand, if you agree to chemical testing and the results come back positive, that may be the only available evidence against you. On the other hand, you will automatically be subject to administrative sanctions by refusing a chemical test.License Suspensions for Refusing a Breath or Blood Test
If you refuse chemical testing during a Boston OUI arrest, your license will automatically be suspended. The length of the suspension will depend on whether you’ve refused testing in the past and whether the accident resulted in serious bodily injury.
First refusal – 180-day licenses suspension
Second refusal – three-year license suspension
Third refusal – five-year license suspension
However, the length of a suspension increases dramatically for an OUI accident causing serious bodily injury. A first-time refusal in this situation carries a 10-year suspension, and any subsequent refusal will result in a lifetime suspension.Should You Refuse Chemical Testing After an OUI Accident?
Of course, every case is different, as are people’s priorities. Thus, there is no “right” answer to this question. If you refuse the test, the license suspension is, for the time being, unavoidable. However, if there were no witnesses to the accident, it may make proving the case extremely difficult for the prosecutor. And, if you beat the case, there is a presumption that your license will be restored unless the prosecution can show that the restoration of your license would put the community in danger. For most, this decision will come down to what they stand to lose from an OUI accident conviction.DUI Accident Penalties in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, OUI accidents involving minor injuries are still considered unenhanced OUIs. This means if you are convicted, the judge will sentence you under the OUI sentencing framework. However, there is a separate crime for a DUI accident causing serious bodily injury. In this context, “serious bodily injury” refers to an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, results in total disability, or the substantial and prolonged impairment of a bodily function.
If convicted of an OUI accident causing serious bodily injury, you will face at least six months incarceration in a house of correction and could face up to 10 years in state prison if you were driving negligently or recklessly at the time. If there is no evidence of dangerous driving, the maximum punishments are the same; however, there is no mandatory minimum sentence, meaning the judge could sentence you to no jail time.Learn More About How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help You Fight OUI/DUI/DWI Charges
If you were recently arrested for causing a DUI accident in Boston, reach out to the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy commands an impressive understanding of the state’s ever-change OUI laws and puts this knowledge to use in each of his clients’ cases. Whether he is working out an offer on lesser charges, arguing to suppress potentially harmful evidence, or litigating your case in front of a jury, Patrick Murphy has what it takes to defend against even the most serious drunk driving cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call Attorney Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.