Fourth Offense OUI

In Massachusetts, it is a crime for an individual to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher for those 21 years of age or older, or 0.02 if you are younger than 21. Massachusetts is one of the harshest states in the US and imposes some of the most severe punishments. The implementation of Melanie’s Law in 2005 even further increased the penalties associated with OUI. It is important to know any subsequent offense after the second conviction is considered a felony, and the sentence contains mandatory incarceration.

For these reasons it is crucial that you hire the best Massachusetts OUI/DUI/DWI defense attorney possible to defend you, and to help win your case and avoid potentially negative disadvantageous legal consequences. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has an impressive advocacy record, and he is especially talented in the complex area of Massachusetts OUI law.

The legal, emotional, and societal costs associated with a fourth offense OUI are significant and require an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process. Considering that a fourth offense OUI is deemed a felony in Massachusetts, it is important to recognize the reality and seriousness of the charge. The penalties enforced for a fourth offense OUI include:
  • Fine: $1,500 to $25,000
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 1 year, maximum sentence of five years
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 10 years (Eligibility for a work/education hardship license considered in 5 years; general hardship in 8 years. If you refused the breath test your license is suspended for LIFE.)
  • Interlock Ignition Device required to be installed in your car, at your own expense, before you may be granted a hardship license and for an additional 2 years after your full license is reinstated.
In Massachusetts, M.G.L. 276 § 58A governs the bail hearings and dangerousness hearings for anyone accused of felony offenses, or for crimes containing an element of threatened use, attempted use, or actual use of physical force against another person. These hearings are typical in assault cases, and repeated OUI charges may lead the prosecution to request for a dangerousness hearing. In cases such as these, the Commonwealth may request a Judge to place the defendant on pretrial detention or request the individual released on enhanced conditions. Pending no outstanding reason, the individual must remain in custody until the Dangerousness Hearing, which must take place no later than 5 days after the individual’s arraignment.

After the hearing, if the Judge determines that Personal Recognizance will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required, or will endanger the safety of any other person, or the community at large, the Judge has three options:
  1. Release the accused on personal recognizance (pending the satisfaction of bail);
  2. Release the accused on specific conditions;
  3. Order the accused detained for 90 days.
If the Judge determines that the accused may be released, he may chose to impose restrictions on the individual, such as:
  • Restrict drug or alcohol use;
  • Restrict the accused from engaging in education or employment;
  • Restrict the individual’s travel; 
  • Require the individual to avoid certain individuals, and/or places of business and residences; and
  • Order the accused to surrender any firearms or other weapons.
Upon being charged with a fourth offense OUI you face the potential for a dangerousness hearing, and you should immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. The consequences of a felony conviction are life altering; a felony on your record may lead to your exclusion from job and educational opportunities, a significant debt to the court, as well as other negative repercussions. Attorney Murphy has successfully represented clients in Massachusetts for 18 years and possesses the knowledge and training to help you. For additional information, please contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy today for a free and confidential legal consultation by calling 617-367-0450 or completing the contacts tab on our website.

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