Multiple OUIs can lead to a felony charge – especially if it is your third or higher. These allegations are extremely serious and should not be taken lightly. Unlike the punishments for first and second offenses, third and higher OUI offenses carry harsher penalties and the consequences of a felony conviction. Not only will you face mandatory minimum jail sentences, but you will also lose your driver’s license and face financial hardship.
While it is true there are harsher penalties for multiple OUIs, it does not always mean you will face a felony conviction. In fact, multiple offenses can be successfully defended – as long as you hire a qualified attorney.
Using Prior Offenses in Court
Prior OUI offenses do not always have to be considered. In fact, a prior conviction can be considered inadmissible because it is prejudicial. If you refuse to take a chemical test or breathalyzer, that too can be deemed inadmissible. If the police do not have any chemical evidence that you were legally intoxicated, there are instances where Massachusetts courts have ruled the refusal to be inadmissible.
It all depends on the facts of a case. The Commonwealth has numerous hurdles that must be jumped in order to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – and it is your criminal defense attorney’s job to create doubt.
Understanding the Penalties for Multiple OUIs
Often people face the harsh penalties for multiple OUIs simply because they assume that if they have prior convictions, they cannot escape the future convictions. If you do not have adequate representation, you will face harsher penalties, including:
Third Offense OUI
- 150 days to five years in jail;
- Fines between $1,000 and $15,000;
- Driver’s license suspension for up to eight years;
- Required to install an IID or ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive once your license is reinstated.
Fourth Offense OUI
- Jail sentences of one to five years;
- Fines between $1500 and $25,000;
- The requirement for an IID;
- License suspension for up to 10 years;
- You may not be able to apply for a hardship license for as many as five years.
Fifth Offense OUI
- Jail sentences of two to five years;
- License can be permanently suspended with no opportunity for reinstatement;
- You may pay fines ranging from $2,000 to $50,000.
Speak With a Criminal Defense Attorney That Understands OUIs
Not all attorneys have the same level of expertise when it comes to OUIs. Hiring an attorney who does have adequate experience could be the difference between excessive jail sentences and high fines and lesser consequences. If you have been arrested for multiple OUIs, contact Keegan Law today. We will aggressively protect your rights and offer no-obligation case evaluations. Get started by contacting us online or by calling (617) 799-7644 now.