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.