Via The Daily Item of Lynn, MA I read about a Medford resident who is currently facing serious charges for third offense DUI (in Massachusetts DUI or driving under the influence cases are typically referred to as OUI or operating under the influence) in Peabody District Court.
Operating under the influence third offense is so serious because it is a charge that carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence if the defendant is convicted. Typically, first offense dui cases end in probation, even if there is a conviction after trial. Second offense dui charges are significantly more serious, and the statute for second offense dui does have mandatory jail time in its language. However, most second offenders are eligible for an alternative disposition whereby they avoid jail time in exchange for inpatient alcohol addiction treatment. On a third offense dui charge in Massachusetts there is no possibility to avoid jail time if prosecutors obtain a conviction.
The minimum sentence for a third offense dui is 180 days in the house of corrections. 150 of those 180 days is considered a mandatory minimum, meaning every day of the first 150 days of the sentence must be served in jail. There is no possibility of parole until 150 days of the sentence has been served. The judge hearing the case cannot continue the matter without a finding, and has no discretion to give a suspended sentence. Rather, the law takes the power to spare a defendant jail time out of the judge’s hands, and requires the sentence be imposed.
In the Medford man’s case it is not at all clear from the article whether the Commonwealth’s case against him is strong or not. Because of the allegation that the man caused an accident with a state trooper in Lynnfield, it might appear at first glance the case against him is strong. However, in many cases where an accident is alleged, defendants are able to obtain not guilty verdicts if they have an experienced dui defense attorney on their side. After an accident if the police do not follow proper procedure, a jury may be convinced the field sobriety tests were given in an unfair manner.
If the case against the man does end up appearing strong, he may still have an opportunity to avoid the mandatory minimum jail sentence. If his prior convictions are older, and not well documented by the courts they occurred in, his attorney may be able to convince a judge or jury that this is not his third offense, and spare him the mandatory sentence.
As a former prosecutor, and Framingham DUI attorney I have handled hundreds of DUI cases in my career. I have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you fight your DUI charge no matter what situation you are facing. Even first offenders face the potential for a lengthy loss of license and difficult probation if they are convicted. Many DUI charges in Massachusetts carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence if you are convicted. If you are facing any kind of DUI charge in Massachusetts, you need an aggressive Framingham DUI lawyer to fight your case, and protect your rights. All potential clients are offered a free consultation where you will have the opportunity to go through your case, and your potential defenses with me step by step. You will also receive a quote at your free consultation and you are guaranteed you will never pay more for your case than your initial quote. Call today (508) 762-4540 or contact me using the form on this page.