If you have been charged with drunk driving, you face very severe Massachusetts DUI penalties.
The severity of the penalties typically depend upon your past history and any drunk driving convictions in your background. Penalties typically can include jail time, monetary fines, license suspensions, and more.
First Time DUI Offense
If this is your first time being charged with a drunk driving offense in Massachusetts, you face the least severe penalties that can include:
- Up to 2 1/2 years in jail
- Possible $5,000 fine
- One-year driver’s license suspension
As you can see, even the first-time DUI penalties can be severe.
However, you should know that first-time DUI offenders in Massachusetts may be eligible for alternative disposition of their DUI offense. Generally, this means that you can avoid jail time if you pay several fines and court fees, agree to serve probation, and attend an alcohol education program.
Second-Time DUI Offense
If you have been convicted of one prior DUI offense, the penalties you face can include:
- Between 30 days and 2 1/2 years in jail
- Possible $10,000 fine
- Two-year driver’s license suspension
Alternative disposition may also be available for someone charged with a second DUI offense. You should talk to an attorney to learn more about alternative disposition penalties and its availability for you.
Third-Time DUI Offense
If you have two prior DUI convictions on your record, the penalties you face can include:
- Between 150 days and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $15,000 fine
- Eight-year driver’s license suspension
The penalties greatly increase with a third-time DUI charge. You face significant jail time and alternative disposition is no longer available.
Fourth-Time DUI Offense
Someone with three prior DUI convictions, faces penalties including:
- Between 1 year and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $25,000 fine
- Ten-year license suspension
Five or More DUI Offenses
If you have four or more prior DUI convictions, you face penalties that can include:
- Between 2 1/2 and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $50,000 fine
- Lifetime driver’s license suspension
Whether you face 2 1/2 or 5 years in prison can depend upon many different variables such as the circumstances of your DUI like your blood alcohol content, whether you caused any injuries or property damage, and even whether you showed remorse at your DUI criminal hearing. If you have been charged with multiple DUIs, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help you mitigate the penalties and advocate for your rights in court.
How a Massachusetts DUI Attorney can Help
Massachusetts DUI penalties are very severe. However, there is typically a wide range of penalties for even a first-time DUI, including alternative disposition. You should talk to an attorney if you have been charged with a DUI and discuss your options and possible defenses. Your attorney can help ensure that you don’t face the most severe penalties.
In addition, you may be able to fight your DUI charges and avoid all penalties completely. Common defenses that can lead to the dismissal of your charges can include attacking the prosecutor’s evidence, questioning the accuracy of a blood alcohol content test, and casting doubt on whether your blood samples were properly handled.
An attorney is also helpful in striking a favorable plea deal and ensuring that your rights are fairly represented.