Oui attorney Pittsfield

OUI is a legal acronym that stands for Operating Under the Influence and it is used specifically in the state of Massachusetts.  In other states this term is known as DUI Driving Under the Influence or DWI Driving While Intoxicated.

Under Massachusetts law OUI is considered a serious crime, and defendants will enlist the services of an OUI Attorney. Once convicted offenders can face harsh penalties. For example, the penalties for a first-time offender include,

  • Up to 2.5 years in jail,
  • Loss of license for up to 90 days,
  • Fines and fees ranging from $500 to $5000
  • One year probation or suspension of license
  • Completion of the 24D Program.

OUI cases will often involve complicated issues such as constitutional rights, police procedure (in particular the gathering of evidence,) the standard of reasonable suspicion, and probable cause.

Due to the complicated legal issues and the harsh penalties involved, it is nearly always the best option to secure the services of a specialist OUI attorney.

From Pittsfield to Boston and Newburyport through Worchester and onto Dartmouth, there are OUI attorneys throughout the state of Massachusetts.


Your Constitutional Rights and The Legal Process:

Under the United States Constitution, American citizens are provided certain rights and protection.

An OUI attorney will be fully conversant with the United States Constitution and the rights and protection it affords to United States citizens. In the case of OUI this means that before an individual can be charged with an OUI offence a strict legal process must first be followed.

The Legal Process

1: Reasonable suspicion.  
An OUI attorney will prepare a legal defense and this will often involve examining legal procedure.  In OUI cases this will mean examining the concept of “reasonable suspicion.”

An officer of the law has the right to pull you over if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” that you have committed or are committing a crime. Under the reasonable suspicion standard, the officer has wide latitude but so to do you and an OUI attorney will often base a defense around the standard of “reasonable suspicion”.

2: Probable Cause.
The 4th Amendment to the American Constitution guarantees that citizens of America should not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to establish that a search or seizure is reasonable an officer must be able to demonstrate probable cause or put another way the officer must establish grounds for a reasonable belief that a crime was committed. In OUI cases probable cause is normally established through observations of your driving behavior, through interviewing you, and through the application of In-Field sobriety tests.

As with reasonable suspicion a good OUI attorney can use probable cause, or the lack of, as the basis for your legal defense.

3: The Burden OF Proof.
In the American legal system, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused.  An OUI Attorney will involve the burden of proof as part of a clients’ defense.


The Charges

There are 4 categories that most OUI charges fall under

  • Operating Under the Influence of Liquor
  • Operating Under the Influence of Liquor, Subsequent Offenses
  • Operating Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Child Endangerment while Operating Under the Influence


The Penalties:

The penalties for OUI in municipalities such as Pittsfield, Massachusetts increase in terms of severity in accordance with the number of offenses and this is another reason why offenders will rely on a OUI Attorney. For example, a first offense can bring jail time (up to 2.5 years) loss of license (for up to 90 days,) fines ranging from $500 to $5000, One year probation or suspension of license and Completion of the 24D Program.

Under Massachusetts law the charges and penalties for OUI offences increase incrementally. For example, the 3rd 4th and 5th offences are classed as felonies and can involve severe penalties such as a mandatory jail sentence (up to 2.5 years,) up to 5 years in state prison, fines ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, Lifetime License Loss, no hardship license to be issued, ever and vehicle forfeiture to the government, with no compensation.


How an OUI Attorney can Help YOU

An OUI Attorney based in Pittsfield or anywhere in the state of Massachusetts will specialize in helping you understand the OUI laws, explain how those laws apply to your case, and develop and present a winning legal argument.

Once an attorney takes on your case you can expect thorough evidence analysis, penalty and options appraisal (including the option of CWOF Continuance Without a Finding) a tailor-made defense and a commitment to follow through.

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