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Boston OUI/DUI Defense Blog

What are the stages of a criminal case?

For people who are facing their first criminal charge, the entire process can seem very complicated. There are several things you should understand if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Having some knowledge will help you to feel better prepared.

The process through the criminal justice system can sometimes begin before your arrest. In some situations, like when the case concerns an alleged white collar crime, there is a lengthy investigation prior to the actual arrest. Remember these basics if you are a defendant in a criminal case.

Strategies to decrease repeat DUIs

Massachusetts has strict DUI laws, and one of the goals of them is not only to punish drivers for breaking the law but also prevent them from drinking and driving in the future. While the majority of drivers seem to learn their lesson, there is a pretty high percentage that gets subsequent DUIs. While DUI prevention strategies may work for some of these drivers, some seemed wired to continue this risky behavior even when the penalties are high.

According to the Association of Psychological Science, around 30% of drivers who have had one DUI will get at least one more conviction in their lifetime. While this is representative of reckless behavior, a study that compared the risk-taking levels of repeat DUI offenders to other risky drivers demonstrated repeat DUI offenders had the lowest levels of risk-taking when alcohol is not involved. All groups, however, had neurobiological markers, such as a dysregulation of cortisol response, for risk. 

OUI issues: Absorption, metabolism and your blood alcohol level

Many people don't realize how alcohol will affect them when they drink. Some believe that everyone will face the same effects, but this isn't the case at all. Instead, everyone deals with alcohol differently due to their own metabolism. (You can think of your metabolism as your body's ability to process alcohol, calories or other things it takes in.)

It's common to have a friend who says they can handle their alcohol and another who knows they can't after a certain point. The latter type of person may be referred to as a "lightweight" or may consider himself or herself sensitive. What about you?

False accusations of refusing a breath test

When it comes to drunk driving allegations, there are many different angles to consider. Aside from the penalties that may come with these allegations, some people face additional consequences because they refused to take a breath test. Moreover, there are unique situations which can further complicate a drunk driving case, such as someone who is falsely accused of refusing to take a breath test. If you have been falsely accused of breath test refusal, it is pivotal to not only understand what is at stake but to realize your legal rights as well.

There are a number of circumstances in which a breath test refusal may not be valid. For example, perhaps a law enforcement official who is impatient does not give someone the chance to respond to the situation and consent to a test. There are a number of other ways in which law enforcement officials may wrongly accuse someone of refusing to submit to a breath test and it is essential for those whose legal rights have been violated to seek justice.

How a drunk driving conviction could affect your career

A criminal charge can change your life. Drunk driving -- generally referred to as "operating under the influence" (OUI) by Massachusetts law -- is a serious offense that some people mistakenly think won't affect their lives in a significant way.

Any kind of conviction or guilty plea related to impaired driving could have a big effect on your personal and professional life. If you have previous OUIs/DUIs, potential consequences can be worse.

Can I sleep drunk in my car?

Drivers in Massachusetts are required to operate a vehicle responsibly, and part of that is not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, some drivers drink too much and get behind the wheel. In some instances, the driver may realize they should not drive and decide to sleep it off in the vehicle before driving anywhere. While this may seem like a responsible move, this may backfire and result in a DUI arrest anyways. While there are some tactics you can take to decrease the chances of arrest, it may be best to get a hotel room or call a sober driver to drive you to your destination.

According to FindLaw, many states regard the D part of DUI to also mean potential to drive. This means that even if you did not drive anywhere, if evidence points to potential you may be screwed. The courts will investigate a number of factors to determine guilt. These include:

  • If you keys are in the vehicle, and where
  • Your vehicle location
  • Your sleeping location
  • If your vehicle was able to be operated

About OUI diversion programs for veterans in Massachusetts

Every human being makes mistakes all the time. Some mistakes can lead to criminal charges. The realization that not all criminal acts were intentional is one of the foundations of OUI diversion programs. Participation comes with significant responsibilities and great benefits.

OUI diversion isn't available to everyone who is facing a charge for driving drunk in Massachusetts. Instead, there are specific criteria that must be met. One special law, the Valor Act, provides a unique opportunity for men and women who served in the military.

Criminal defense basics: What happens during a jury trial?

People facing a criminal charge must determine how they are going handle the case. This isn't always easy to decide. Despite the challenges, defendants often must make their choice quickly and then develop a strategy with the help of an attorney.

Typically, there are three options for defendants:

  • Plea deal: A deal is worked out between the prosecution and the defense for a resolution of the case.
  • Jury trial: A panel of jurors hears each side's arguments and reaches a verdict.
  • Bench trial: A judge listens to both sides before making a decision.

Inexperienced drinkers and DUI charges

Sometimes, people find themselves charged with driving under the influence multiple times, after being pulled over again as a result of their addiction to alcohol or tendency to drink too much on the weekend. In other instances, however, a person may be accused of operating a vehicle while drunk even though they rarely drink alcohol. In fact, there are a number of reasons why this scenario can be especially challenging for those facing DUI charges and if you have recently been charged with driving drunk even though you are an infrequent drinker, it is extremely important to clearly understand your legal options.

For starters, someone who does not drink alcohol very often may not know how intoxicated they are and they could have difficulty determining whether or not they are over the legal limit. Moreover, someone who is not used to handling alcohol in their system may be especially likely to drive erratically and attract the attention of law enforcement officials.

Reasonable suspicion, probable cause and drunk driving

Drinking and driving don't mix, even when you think you are able to handle doing both the same evening. There is always a chance that you will be pulled over after drinking. Law enforcement officers are trained to watch for signs of impairment.

When a cop sees something that could indicate an that a driver is intoxicated, they might pull that driver over to check. Once they have initiated the traffic stop, they will examine whether the driver is sober enough to drive legally.

There is no time to waste. Let us begin building a strong defense for you now.

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