Second Offense OUI

Massachusetts OUI laws are incredibly strict, and the penalties attached increase with each following offense. The obstacles you will experience when dealing with OUI second offense will depend on the circumstances and facts of your case. It is very important to understand the consequences and the costs associated with this charge, and seek the most qualified and skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to defend your case and mitigate or eliminate any harmful consequences. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a highly educated Massachusetts attorney, who is well versed and experienced with OUI cases.

While being charged with any crime is a serious matter, OUI in particular requires special attention to be paid. With the help of an experienced OUI attorney, it is very likely that you will be able to avoid jail time. In Massachusetts, a second offense OUI is still considered a misdemeanor but the penalties are more harshly imposed. The penalties for second offense OUI are:
  • Fines from $600 to $10,000
  • Incarceration: From 60 days to no more than 2.5 years (If the Judge orders jail time in the sentence, it will require a mandatory stay of 30 days)
  • Driver’s license suspension for two years (After six months you may be eligible to apply for a work/school Hardship License, or after one year you can apply for a general Hardship License. If you refused a chemical test, however, you will not be eligible to apply for 4 years.)
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device upon reinstatement of your driver’s license is required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld breath-alcohol monitoring device that is electronically connected to a vehicle’s ignition. With the implementation of the IID, the driver is required to register no more than 0.02 BAC to start the engine of the vehicle and to complete rolling re-tests at random intervals while in operation of the vehicle.
There are four possible scenarios in which you need to use an IID:
  1. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions and are eligible for a hardship license, you must use the IID for the length of the hardship license. You must also use the IID for an additional 2 years after your license is reinstated.
  2. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions and are eligible for license reinstatement, you must use the IID for 2 years after your license is reinstated. This 2-year period is in addition to any time you may have used the IID with a hardship license. 
  3. If a court orders you to use the IID for any reason, you must use the IID for the length of the court order. 
  4. If a court reinstates your license after a suspension of five years or more for a Chemical Test Refusal (pursuant to M.G..L. c.90 s24(1)(f)(1) or s24N), the RMV will reinstate your license with the condition of IID use for no less than two years.

In addition to the inconvenience of the IID, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device will also impose other responsibilities on the operator. Once a Judge has determined that an IID should be installed in your vehicle, the operator must contact a vendor and schedule an installation. The operator is also responsible for all the fees associated with the leasing and maintenance of the IID, mandatory maintenance visits, and adherence to all the rules and guidelines for proper usage of the device. After completion of the required period, a Hearings Officer will grant you a letter of approval for removal of the IID. The operator must then schedule an appointment with the vendor and present the letter for removal. If the operator tampers with the IID device, or removes the device prior to authorization, a Hearings Officer may elect to suspend your license for 10 years.

In some cases, your lawyer may be able to obtain an alternative disposition sentence for you. Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 90 § 24(D), Alternative Disposition (DUIL) requires the defendant to complete two years of probation, a 14-day in-patient alcohol treatment program, installation of an IID in your vehicle, and a license suspension for two years. This sentence is a much more favorable outcome for some individuals and depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. It is very important to seek the advice of an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney if you are facing OUI charges, as their knowledge and ingenuity could have an extreme impact on your outcome. 

If your second offense OUI occurs 10 or more years after the first OUI offense, you are eligible for the “second chance first-offender” 24(D) Alternative Disposition program. This "second chance" allows an individual who has a prior OUI offense, to be afforded a second chance at the First Offense Alternative Disposition. Under this deal, a second time offender will be entitled to receive the same disposition as a first time offender and avoid the 14 day in-patient treatment program and the two year license suspension.

It is important to note that if you are subsequently convicted of an additional OUI, it will constitute a THIRD OFFENSE. For purposes of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, they will regard your case as a second offense, meaning you will also be subject to the second offender’s breath test refusal suspension as well. Additionally, even though the court may provide for a “second chance” by giving you a first offense disposition, the registry will always treat your case as a second offense and will require that you install the Ignition Interlock Device before applying for a hardship license.
The 24D Program is not available where the OUI caused death or serious bodily injury.

On May 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held in Souza v. Registry of Motor Vehicles that the Registry of Motor Vehicles would not be allowed to count “continued without a finding” OUI cases when determining whether someone is a repeat offender. This ruling presently prohibits the Registry of Motor Vehicles from constituting a “continued with a finding” as a first offense conviction, and therefore, the driver’s next offense will not carry second-offender license suspension penalties of three years. For more information about this change in the law, please click here.

If you face a Massachusetts second offense OUI charge it is highly recommended that you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your rights and freedoms. Attorney Murphy has been practicing criminal defense law in Massachusetts for nearly two decades, and as a result of his dedication and expertise, he has successfully acquired favorable outcomes or acquittals for his clients. For more information about OUI/DUI/DWI, 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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