Every state has statutes on the books that outline the specific penalties that you could face if a prosecutor successfully convicts you of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (known as OUI), and Massachusetts is no different. If you already have an OUI conviction on your record and you face the prospect of a subsequent conviction, how much worse could the penalties be the second – or third – time around?
Increases in jail time
Massachusetts’s OUI statute gives the judge discretion in determining how much jail time a convicted defendant will serve, based on the circumstances surrounding their arrest. The maximum jail sentence for a first-time conviction is two and a half years.
Upon second conviction, the minimum jail sentence becomes 60 days. For every conviction after that, the range of possible jail time increases.
Other increased penalties
Your first OUI could come with a fine of between $500 and $5,000, depending upon the circumstances, plus other administrative fees. Upon a second conviction, the fine increases to a range of $600 to $10,000.
In addition to increased fines and jail times, you will almost certainly have to pay to have an ignition interlock system installed in all of your vehicles. These are machines that will not allow your car’s ignition to start unless your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit. The court will decide how long you have to keep these devices installed.
An OUI conviction can have a lasting negative effect on your life. The sooner you contact an attorney after your arrest, the more time you will have to prepare a solid defense to present in court to try to get the charges reduced or dropped.