If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you are guaranteed certain constitutional rights. For starters, you have the right to remain silent if you are placed under arrest. Police will generally inform you of this right by reading the “Miranda warning” at the time of your arrest. But your rights don’t stop there.
Fourth Amendment Rights
The fourth amendment to the U.S. constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure. When the search and seizure pertains to a motor vehicle, police are generally required to have probable cause in order to make a traffic stop. If the officer cannot show that there existed a reasonable suspicion that a law was being broken, any evidence obtained during the traffic stop may be thrown out. This includes breath and blood test readings. A Boston criminal defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with OUI.
Fifth Amendment Rights
The fifth amendment includes the right to remain silent, which also happens to be the first right of the aforementioned Miranda warning. But the fifth amendment also provides several other rights and protections, including a prohibition on double jeopardy, and the right to not self-incriminate. Police are not required by law to read you the Miranda warning, but anything you say may be inadmissible in court if they fail to do so. That being said, anything you say before you are arrested is fair game.
Sixth Amendment Rights
The sixth amendment guarantees the assistance of legal counsel to anyone who is placed under arrest. Basically, this means that if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. That being said, it is generally a good idea to hire private counsel, even if you qualify for a public defender. The cost of a good OUI attorney can save you lots of money, and heartache, in the long run.
OUI Penalties in MA
If you get convicted of OUI, the penalties will depend heavily on the particulars of your case, whether it’s a first offense, and prior criminal history. Penalties may include:
- First offense: Fines between $500 and $5,000, one-year license suspension, and up to 2.5 years in jail.
- Second offense: Fines between $600 and $10,000, two-year license suspension, up to 2.5 years in jail w/ mandatory minimum of 30 days.
- Third offense: Fines between $1,000 and $15,000, eight-year license suspension, up to five years in prison w/ mandatory minimum of 150 days. This is a felony charge.
- Fourth offense: Fines between $1,500 and $25,000, 10 year license suspension, up to five years in prison w/ mandatory minimum of one year. This is a felony charge.
If you’ve been charged with OUI or any type of crime, a MA criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top OUI Defense Law Firm
If you have been charged with OUI, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses for more than 50 years. It is our goal to keep you out of jail and to keep your record clean. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. This is especially true with regard to OUIs. Many people try to cut costs when hiring an attorney for first-time OUI defense. We cannot stress enough the potential gravity of this mistake. OUI charges are serious; if convicted, you could end up with a criminal record, hefty fines, and you may see time behind bars. If you’ve been charged with OUI, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.