After a person has been arrested for OUI in MA, they are taken back to the police station and given several forms to view and sign. One of those forms is the Statutory Rights and Consent form. It is a very important piece of paper in that it is the officer’s formal request for the suspect to submit to a breath test. The form lays out the possible penalties for refusal (180 day license loss) and failure (30 days). However, it does not tell you how this decision will impact the court case.
By refusing the test, you have just earned yourself at least a 6 month license suspension. More importantly, though, you have given yourself a far better chance of success in court at trial. Jurors always want to know where the breath test is during OUI trials. When one is not presented to them, they cannot consider it. This is because not only is it not a crime to refuse the test in MA, your refusal cannot be used against you in court as a consciousness of guilt. That leaves the prosecution with far less powerful evidence to use against you at trial.
If you took the test and failed, the case becomes much more difficult. In this scenario, much of the work needs to be done during the pre-trial stages, specifically with motions. This is where a good OUI lawyer will try to find different ways of attacking the procedure of the test in an attempt at having a judge suppress it from evidence at trial.
If you’ve been arrested for OUI, contact me immediately to review your case. We will go step by step through the government’s case and make an informed decision on how best to proceed.
I have seen many college students in the Boston area summonsed to court for the charge of being a keeper of a noisy and disorderly house. Typically, these students are residents of a house that has been busted for having a party. The Boston Police, specifically at D-14 in Allston-Brighton, have been breaking up parties and then sending summonses to the residents to appear at Brighton Court for a clerk magistrate’s hearing.
It is very important to have strong legal representation at a magistrate’s hearing for several reasons:
1) A lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and explain all of the possible outcomes to you,
2) He or she will be with you at the hearing and will be able to help you answer questions and argue on your behalf and,
3) Help convince the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint so as to save you from being arraigned in front of judge and having a criminal record.
I have represented many students at the magistrate level on this charge and have been successful and keeping their criminal records clean. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed some students try to handle the hearing on their own and then call me after the fact to represent them in the criminal proceedings. At that point, the damage has really already been done. Once arraigned, a criminal record is generated. The best we can do at that point is fight to get the case dismissed and then discuss other options in regards to whether or not sealing a record is the best option.
The key is to call an attorney as soon as you receive the summons. I have always offered free consultations to allow you to make the best and most informed decision possible before committing to any legal fees.