If you’ve been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI), there are multiple steps you can take to fight the charges. But you’ve got to act fast. It may seem easiest and most appealing to take a plea bargain, but once you’ve admitted guilt, your options are limited. If you want to “win” your OUI case, follow the steps below to improve your chances of reduced charges, a not guilty, or an outright dismissal.
Step One: Hire an Experienced OUI Trial Attorney
If the prosecution knows that your defense attorney is willing to go to trial, they are more likely to bend under pressure. Prosecuting attorneys know that a good trial attorney will fight tirelessly to protect a client; filing every possible motion available to them, challenging each and every piece of evidence, and calling on the best experts.
Step Two: What is the Evidence?
Solid evidence against you can be damning, but in a significant number of OUI cases, the evidence is less than compelling. In many situations, evidence such as breathalyzer results has to be thrown out for various reasons – inconclusive readings, the breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated, the officer wasn’t trained, or the reading was obtained during an illegal search. If hard evidence, such as a breathalyzer result, is thrown out, your chances of an outright dismissal increase dramatically.
Step Three: Was the Traffic Stop Legal?
If it can be shown that the officer lacked probable cause to stop your car in the first place, you might be home free. When this occurs, all evidence is generally thrown out. In any situation, the help of a skilled OUI defense attorney is crucial to a positive outcome. If you have been charged with OUI, or any other type of criminal offense, contact a Boston defense attorney today.
Do I Really Need an Attorney for an OUI?
Well, let’s see – if you want to avoid jail time, hefty fines, and the loss of your license, the answer is yes. You absolutely need an attorney, and a skilled one at that. Having an attorney doesn’t guarantee that your case will be dismissed, but it significantly increases your chances. Not to mention, OUI convictions aren’t taken lightly in Massachusetts. A first offense can carry fines of up to $5,000, license suspension of up to one year, and up to two-and-a-half years in jail. A second offense can cost you up to $10,000 in fines, and you might lose your license for two years.
Even if you aren’t facing a $10,000 fine and 30 months in jail, an OUI attorney can minimize the damage, helping you navigate the legal system and offering alternative options such as a hardship license. Further, an attorney can help you sentence bargain, reduce penalties and fines, and go to trial if necessary. Attempting to handle an OUI case on your own can spell disaster. This is especially true if aggravating circumstances were present at the time of the incident, such as when the defendant is under 21, was in possession of narcotics, was driving through a school zone, or was in possession of a weapon.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Criminal Defense Law Firm
If you are facing criminal charges, contact Altman & Altman, LLP today. Our skilled legal team has more than five decades of experience fighting for the rights of individuals charged with crimes. From misdemeanors to felonies, our attorneys have extensive experience in every area of criminal law. We have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. If you’ve been charged with OUI, it is in your best interest to obtain skilled legal representation immediately. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.