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Boston Criminal Defense Law Blog

How can you maintain your innocence in a criminal case?

Facing criminal charges can change a person's life forever. A conviction for allegations can have even more negative effects, which is why it is important for an accused person to go over his or her criminal defense options in hopes of working toward the best outcome possible. You may not think that creating a defense is necessary because you know you did not commit a crime, but still, understanding the "I didn't do it" defense strategy is vital.

You may wonder whether you can even take this approach in court, and it certainly is an option. However, maintaining your innocence can come in different forms, and you may want to choose the route with which you feel most comfortable.

What does Melanie's Law mean for OUI offenders?

When you face criminal charges involving operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs of alcohol, you know there is a lot at stake for you. This criminal charge could compromise your driving privileges, lead to time behind bars and result in expensive fines. One of the first steps in fighting back against this type of charge is learning more about what you are up against.

One specific law that could affect your case is Melanie's Law. Passed in 2005, it resulted in harsher penalties for OUI offenders in Massachusetts. If convicted, it may be a requirement for you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. It is in your interests to present a strong and thoughtful defense strategy against an OUI, starting by reaching out for experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest. 

Driving a car not necessary for OUI arrest

If a recent drunk driving arrest was your first encounter with law enforcement, you may have many questions. While other states may call the charge DUI or DWI, in Massachusetts, the charge is Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence, or OUI. What you may not realize is that operating a motor vehicle may not always mean what you think.

In addition to driving home in your car after drinking too much, you may be at risk of an OUI arrest in a variety of other situations. Because the circumstances of an OUI arrest can be questionable, you would be wise to reach out for legal advice as quickly as possible after your arrest.

When could police pull you over for suspected drunk driving?

Facing charges for drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in Massachusetts. If convicted of this type of crime, you could face penalties that could result in time behind bars, steep fines and other penalties that could change the course of your life. Whether it is your first offense or you have others on your record, it is in your interests to defend yourself against OUI charges.

One of the primary elements of developing a strong defense strategy is to carefully evaluate the circumstances of the original traffic stop. There must be a specific and clear reason to detain a driver, and without this, an OUI traffic stop may not be valid. This is reasonable suspicion, and it is an important part of any intoxicated driving case.

What are the odds you will pass a field sobriety test?

You may agree with other Boston residents that flashing lights and sirens behind you is never a good sign, especially if they are for you. Once you pull over to the side of the road, the officer will approach you. If he or she suspects you of operating under the influence for some reason, he or she will probably ask you to participate in field sobriety tests.

You may feel as though you have to participate in these tests, but legally, you don't. It is not a requirement that you attempt to stand on one leg, walk a straight line or follow an object with your eyes. Of course, you can agree to do so, but the odds of you passing these tests are not in your favor.

OUI charges are not limited to night time

When you think of drunk driving arrests, you may think of going out on the town for parties that linger late into the night or driving home in the wee hours of the morning after the bars have closed. Police may notice a driver swerving down a lonely highway or forgetting to turn the headlights on. In the worst-case scenario, officers respond to the scene of a late-night drunk driving accident.

What you may not consider is that not all drunk driving incidents take place between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. In fact, a hefty percentage of drunk driving accidents occur during the brunch hours.

When must Boston residents use an ignition interlock device?

With 2020 on the horizon, many people in Massachusetts will be going to New Year's Eve parties. Most of these parties involve alcohol, and it is not unusual for motorists to find themselves being pulled over by police on suspicion of operating under the influence over the holiday season. Many OUI conviction consequences can have a major impact on a person's life, including the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

There are three circumstances in which a motorist convicted of OUI in Massachusetts must install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle. One is if the motorist has been convicted of OUI two or more times but is eligible to receive a hardship license. The second is if the motorist has been convicted of OUI two or more times but is eligible to have his or her driver's license reinstated. The third is if the court orders the motorist to utilize an ignition interlock device for any reason.

Facing charges following a deadly OUI accident

A drunk driving arrest can be stressful and confusing enough by itself. If police pull you over after you have consumed alcohol, you may have concerns about the potential consequences and how they will affect your future. Even a first-offense OUI conviction can mean high fines, license suspension and possible jail time, among other penalties.

However, if you are involved in an accident after drinking alcohol, you may have many more serious issues to deal with. This can be especially true if someone else dies from injuries in the accident. Depending on the circumstances, police may arrest you for motor vehicle homicide or involuntary manslaughter.

Does ridesharing reduce the number of OUI incidents?

It used to be the case that if you wanted to travel in Boston, and you didn't want to ride the bus or hail a cab, the popular option was to simply drive to your destination yourself. However, when your destination was a bar or party, this led to incidents of drunk driving and the possibility of incurring an OUI.

However, according to a recent study, the rise in ridesharing services have led to a decrease in OUI accidents.

3 tips for avoiding a New Year’s Eve OUI stop

There really never is a good time to drink and drive. After all, officers may stop you for violating the state’s OUI law virtually anywhere and at any time. Still, New Year’s Eve is primetime for OUI enforcement. If you drive with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, your luck may run out at the start of 2020. 

The best way to avoid an OUI charge is never to drink and drive. As a resident of the Boston area, you have many options for enjoying a night on the town without risking criminal charges. Here are three tips for avoiding a New Year’s Eve OUI stop: 

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