In Massachusetts the penalties for DUI offenses (or OUI offenses as they are more commonly referred to in Massachusetts) have become increasingly severe over the years. That is especially true in cases illhere the defendant is alleged to be a repeat offender.
Unfortunately for one man, he is finding out just how severe those penalties can be right now. The Worcester Telegram reports that the man was arrested this week on charges of OUI after a car he was in struck a tree in an accident in Northboro, MA.
The police allege that the man was driving the car when the accident occurred. What makes this case more interesting than the average OUI is that it appears at the time the police responded to the accident both the man and the other person in the vehicle were no longer inside.
The police report that when they spoke to the man he smelled of alcohol, had trouble balancing, slurred his speech and glassy eyes. They also had a conversation with him where he supposedly admitted he had been driving the car. However, according to police they also spoke to his wife who was at the scene and she also told police that she had been driving. This fact could make this case difficult for prosecutors to prove at trial.
In any case the prosecution brings against a defendant each charge is broken down into elements. Each element must be proven to a jury or a judge beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the jury to reach a verdict of guilty.
In a DUI or OUI cases the elements that must be proven are that the defendant “operated” a motor vehicle, that he did so on a public way, and that at the time he operated the vehicle he was under the influence of alcohol. In this case there is clearly some doubt as to who was driving the car because when police responded both parties indicated they had been driving. His defense may rely heavily on the fact that there is not enough evidence for a jury to conclude that the man was the driver of the car during the accident. If a jury or judge is not convinced he was driving that night beyond a reasonable doubt he will have to be found not guilty of the offense.
Either way the stakes are certainly high for the man. A conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence 5th offense carries a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in jail. There is no possibility of the sentence being suspended and there is no parole or earned good time prior to serving every day of two years in jail. On top of that if convicted he will face a lifetime suspension of his license in Massachusetts.
If you or a loved one is facing a multiple offense OUI charge you need to consult with an experienced aggresive Framingham DUI Lawyer immediately. As a former Assistant District Attorney and Criminal Defense Lawyer I have handled countless DUI cases and would be happy to offer you a free consultation regarding your individual case. A free consultation is a one on one sit down with you and we will personally go over the details of your case and potential defenses you may have. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions so you can have a better understanding of what charges you are facing. There is never any high pressure sales tactics, you get an honest appraisal of your case and a guaranteed quote of what it will cost to handle the matter.