What Happens If I Have Multiple OUIs?

If you find yourself being prosecuted for an additional OUI offense, you can expect the outcome from Massachusetts law to be severe. Melanie’s Law was passed in 2005 to increase the sanctions and consequences for OUI offenders with earlier convictions. Melanie’s Law created the new offense of “Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol while Operating after Suspension for Drunk Driving”. If you have a previous OUI conviction and are convicted of another OUI, you have the potential to be charged with two crimes at once: OUI and OUI with suspended license.

Each DUI conviction will create a stricter penalty for the offender. Depending on the number of convictions you have will determine the punishment.

Second Offense

  • Up to $10,000 fine.
  • Sentence in jail for 60 days minimum and up to 2 ½
  • Suspension of license for 2 years. After 18 months, you can be considered for a general hardship license with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Third Offense (felony)

  • Up to $15,000 fine.
  • Sentence in jail for 180 days mandatory minimum (150 to be served) and up to 2 ½ years, or State Prison time if indicted.
  • Suspension of license for 8 years. After 4 years, you can be considered for a general hardship license with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Fourth Offense (felony)

  • $25,000 fine.
  • Based on the District Attorney’s preference, jail sentence of one of the following:
    • 2 years minimum mandatory in house of correction (District Court)
    • Potential of up to 5 years in State Prison, if case is indicted into Superior Court
    • Suspension of license for 10 years. After 8 years, you can be considered for a general hardship license with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Fifth+ Offense (felony)

  • $50,000 fine.
  • Sentence of 2.5 years minimum mandatory in house of correction or 5 years in State Prison.
  • Lifetime suspension of license with no opportunity for a hardship license.

If you or someone you know has been convicted of operating under the influence, contact Attorney Seed for the support of a qualified Boston and New Bedford, MA OUI lawyer. Attorney Seed will examine every part of your case to create a full defense approach. Contact Attorney Seed at (508) 999-1399 or by filling out our contact form for a free evaluation today.

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OUI Breath-Test Evidence Questions

Many questions are being raised about OUI breath-test evidence causing defense attorneys to examine their OUI cases. While the state reviews the breath analysis machines, prosecutors are suspending the use of evidence from police.

It may only be a small amount of readings, but the Massachusetts Bar Association is calling for an independent assessment of the dependability of the tests. Depending on the results, people could look into dismissals or even new trials.

Attorneys across the state are going through OUI cases to see which clients will be affected. They are either pursuing continuances of OUI cases or not using breath test evidence until the problem is fixed.

If you or someone you know has been convicted of or negotiated a plea agreement in MA for an OUI over the last two years based on a breath test result, you may have options in revisiting the matter. Feel free to contact me at 978.352.0384 or my partner Jason Chan at 781.343.1384 to explore your options.

What are the Guidelines for a Checkpoint?

Generally, police obtain the right to probable cause when a motorist commits a traffic violation, is potentially intoxicated at the wheel, or receives a tip that the motorist may be drunk at the wheel. The reason for these sobriety checkpoints according to the Supreme Court is to ensure the safety and security of every driver on the road. They believe this is the best and most efficient way to limit the potential for drunk driving that may result in a fatality of the driver and/or the general public.

Here are the guidelines set forth to ensure the constitutionality of the checkpoints:

  • The observation of the driver must be minimal so that the motorist does not feel he or she is being singled out.
  • The officer has a reasonable suspicion that the operating driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or contraband is in plain view.
  • If this is the case, the driver will be directed to a secondary screening.
  • During the secondary screening, the driver will be asked to drive onto the shoulder of the road, provide license & registration & might be asked to execute field sobriety tests.
  • Depending on the results of the field sobriety tests, this could lead to an arrest.

Contact Attorney John Seed at 978-352-0384 for questions on the laws pertaining to OUI/DUIs.

Opiate & Heroin Epidemic

Since 2012, more than 700 individuals in the state of Massachusetts have died of an opiate overdose, most of which include heroin. In December alone, nearly 58 deaths we confirmed by the Massachusetts State Police and that number seems to be increasing daily.

The recent revival in the heroin epidemic has raised serious concerns throughout the Northeast, especially in Massachusetts where the death rate has risen significantly since 2000. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in 2000, Massachusetts had an opioid related death rate of 363. By 2011, the number had increased significantly to 642, and two years later was up to 860.

This devastating epidemic can create a terrible situation for not only the individuals involved but their families as well. In 2013, the Obama administration put a number of funds and resources into fighting the nation’s overall drug problem. The administration felt that this problem was more of a public health issue rather than a criminal problem.

The Massachusetts State Police have been working with the DEA to crack down on the epidemic and focus on the illegal drug trade that is occurring throughout the Northeast Region of the United States. Massachusetts has also put a large number of resources into helping with addiction as well, offering a number of affordable counseling and treatment options for recovering addicts.

Attorney Seed has worked with many clients and their families to help them get their lives back while going through the recovery process of addiction. Many times, heroin addicts find themselves facing charges they’ve picked up trying to feed their addiction. Most often, they are charged with drug or larceny related offenses. Attorney Seed has worked hard to assist his clients in finding their sobriety first, and then handling the court matters.

Often times, Assistant District Attorneys across the state will look to incarcerate addicts to get them off the street. That does not solve the problem. The disease of addiction needs to be treated and monitored – through the court system and not the sheriff’s department. Attorney Seed has been able to propel many clients forward and out of the cyclical life of addiction and keep them out of prison.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a heroin related incident or is suffering from addiction, contact Attorney John B. Seed today. We offer free legal consultations for all of our clients in the State of Massachusetts.