If you have been arrested for an OUI in Massachusetts that you don’t deserve, you are probably wondering how to go about fighting the charges. The Bay State is tough on crime, and if you are convicted of an OUI, you may face fines, license suspension and even jail time. Fortunately, there are many OUI attorneys in Massachusetts. It is a good idea to know a bit about OUI law in Massachusetts, so you can know what to ask a prospective lawyer.
How is OUI determined?
If you are weaving, speeding or driving erratically you are likely to be pulled over. When a law enforcement officer has reason to suspect a driver of Operating Under the Influence, they may use several different methods to determine if you are inebriated. Methods include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer test to determine your breath alcohol concentration and blood tests.
If you are under 21 and have a blood alcohol concentration of .02, you are considered OUI. If you are over 21, a BAC of .08 is considered legally drunk. If you are a commercial driver, you may not drive with a BAC of over .04. If you are charged with an OUI, there are a few things your attorney will need to know.
Why were you pulled over?
If you think you were driving the speed limit and you were not swerving or breaking any laws, you may want to question why you were pulled over in the first place. If there are traffic cameras in the area, they may tell a different story than the one that is told by the arresting officer.
Did the officer follow protocol?
When a police officer pulls you over, they will ask you to take a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. There are rules for sobriety tests that an officer must follow. They must take weather conditions into consideration. Any physical disabilities that you have must also be considered.
The reliability of breathalyzer tests have been highly contested in the state of Massachusetts, and you can refuse to take a test if you are not comfortable. Refusal to take the tests cannot be admitted into court as evidence in your OUI trial. However, you can have your license temporarily suspended for refusing to take a test. A good attorney will be able to give the arresting officer a thorough cross-examination.
Were there witnesses?
If anyone was in the car with you at the time of your arrest, they can testify on your behalf. If you were with other people before getting in your car, those people can testify as to whether or not you had been drinking.
Finding an attorney
Massachusetts is home to several top law schools and many of their students stay in the state after they graduate. Be sure to find an attorney who understands OUI law and has a lot of courtroom experience. Don’t skimp when hiring an attorney; your freedom is worth the price.
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