Proven – Trusted – Respected
Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorneys
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Aggressively Defending the Rights of Clients Charged with OUIs and Other Serious Crimes in Barnstable and Middlesex Counties
The moment you learn that the government has filed criminal charges against you, your life changes. Suddenly, everything that used to seem important takes a back seat, and you’re forced to focus on the very real possibility that you could end up in jail. Even in cases where incarceration is unlikely, a conviction can still have a transformative impact on your life, potentially preventing you from going back to school or advancing your career. However, just because you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t make you guilty. No one understands this better than the Barnstable and Middlesex County criminal defense attorneys at Rappaport & Delaney.
At Rappaport & Delaney, our team of Massachusetts defense lawyers has over 75 years of experience successfully resolving our clients’ cases in Barnstable and Middlesex County. We take a customized approach to every case we handle, starting with an in-depth investigation into the allegations. From there, we consider all possible defenses that may apply to your case. Depending on our client’s preferences, we may leverage any weaknesses we identify in the prosecution’s case to secure a favorable plea agreement or work up the defense in preparation for trial. Regardless of the seriousness of the crimes you’ve been charged with, what your record looks like, and what evidence the prosecution has in its file, we can come up with a compelling defense designed to minimize the impact your arrest has on the rest of your life.
While most states use the term DUI to refer to charges related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Massachusetts uses the term OUI or operating while under the influence. Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime, and it is also one that is heavily prosecuted. For example, of the 4,960 criminal cases filed in Barnstable County in 2021 and 2022, 2,357—or just under half—were motor vehicle offenses. And, of the 20,599 criminal cases filed in Middlesex County, 9,350 were related to motor vehicle crimes.
At Rappaport & Delaney, we have a long history of defending clients facing OUI charges in Barnstable County and Middlesex County. We understand all the best OUI defenses, how to run them effectively, and what it takes to beat even the toughest OUI cases.
What Constitutes an OUI in Barnstable County and Middlesex County?
At its most basic level, the Massachusetts OUI statute requires prosecutors to prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt before a judge or jury can return a conviction. The elements of OUI in Massachusetts are:
- You were operating a motor vehicle;
- On any public road or in any place the public has a right of access; and
- You were legally intoxicated,
There are a few different ways you can get arrested for an OUI in both Barnstable County and Middlesex County. First, if you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater, there is a presumption that you were intoxicated. This means that the prosecution doesn’t need to prove that the alcohol in your system impacted your ability to drive; it’s enough to show that your blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit.
Second, driving while under the influence of “marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances” is also considered a crime. However, unlike in cases involving alcohol OUIs, Massachusetts law doesn’t have a presumption for drug DUI cases. Thus, prosecutors must prove that the drugs in your system negatively impacted your ability to operate a motor vehicle. This can be challenging, and often, prosecutors need to call a Drug Recognition Expert when trying to prove these cases. Prosecutors also need to establish which drug a driver had ingested, which can be very difficult if there are no blood test results.
Third, you can be charged for an alcohol OUI even if you refused chemical testing or the police officers, for whatever reason, were not able to obtain a blood or breath sample. This is because the Massachusetts DUI law contains language making it against the law to drive while under the “influence of intoxicating liquor.” Again, however, prosecutors in both Middlesex and Barnstable counties will need to establish that whatever amount of alcohol you consumed affected your ability to drive.
Punishments for a Massachusetts OUI Conviction
In Massachusetts, judges, prosecutors, police and lawmakers all take impaired driving very seriously. As a result, the Massachusetts Legislature has enacted harsh penalties to punish those who are convicted of an OUI offense.
First Offense OUI
A first-time OUI conviction results in the following possible penalties:
- Fines between $500 and $5,000;
- A jail sentence of up to 2.5 years; and
- A one-year driver’s license suspension.
Second Offense OUI
If you have a prior OUI conviction and get arrested for a second-time OUI, you’ll face the following:
- Fines between $600 to $10,000
- A jail sentence between 60 days to 2.5 years, with 30 days’ incarceration being mandatory;
- A two-year driver’s license suspension.
Third Offense OUI
If you have two prior OUI convictions and get arrested for a third OUI, you’ll face the following:
- Fines between $1,000 to $15,000
- A jail sentence between 2.5 years to 5 years, with 150 days’ incarceration being mandatory;
- An eight-year driver’s license suspension.
Refusing Chemical Testing in Barnstable County and Middlesex County
When you drive on a public road in Massachusetts, you implicitly agree to take a blood or breath test if arrested for an OUI offense. However, unless police officers have a warrant, they cannot physically compel you to submit to testing, meaning you almost always have the right to refuse chemical testing.
Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test can make it much harder to convict you of an OUI; however, the mere fact that you refused carries penalties of its own. For example, if you don’t have a prior OUI conviction, a refusal results in a 180-day driver’s license suspension. However, if you have one or two prior OUI convictions, the suspension period increases to three or five years, respectively.
At Rappaport & Delaney, we also handle all other types of criminal charges, including:
- Drug Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Gun Crimes and Weapons Offenses
- Theft Charges
- Domestic Violence Allegations
- Violation of Restraining Orders
Have You Been Charged with a Crime in Middlesex County or Barnstable County?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a Barnstable County or Middlesex County OUI, or any other criminal offense, the dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Rappaport & Delaney are here to help. With over 75 years of experience defending the rights of clients whose lives are on the line, we understand what’s at stake and what it will take to get you out from underneath the charges you face. To learn more about how we can help, give Rappaport & Delaney a call at (978) 454-8103 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Barnstable County and Middlesex County.