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Second Offense DUI Penalties in Massachusetts

Second Offense DUI Penalties

A Second Offense DUI /OUI/DWI in Massachusetts is punishable by a fine of between $600 and $10,000, and/or a period of incarceration from 30 days to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction. If you’re convicted of a Second Offense DUI, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for up to 2 years.

Prior Offenses

Any prior DUI offense potentially counts as a first offense. For Example, if you picked up a Drunk Driving offense in California while you were a sophomore in college twenty years ago; the new offense you’ve picked up as a result of a couple glasses of wine at dinner out with your family will count as a second offense. This is owed to the Massachusetts “Lifetime Lookback” policy for multiple offense OUIs.

If your prior offense disposition is more than ten years from the date of your alleged second offense, you may be eligible for a second first-offense disposition. Under this alternative, known as a Cahill Disposition you would be ordered to a period of probation during which time you would have to enter and complete the First Offender Driver Alcohol Education Program, often referred to as the 24D Program. The benefit of the Cahill Disposition is that you would be eligible for a HARDSHIP LICENSE immediately, even during a Chemical Test Refusal suspension.

Chemical Test Refusal

If you refused the Breathalyzer Test where you were suspected of a 2nd Offense DUI in Massachusetts, your license is suspended for three years. You are NOT eligible for a hardship license during your refusal suspension. The first fifteen days of that three-year suspension are crucial. Within those fifteen days we will get you into the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston to challenge that suspension through a CHEMICAL TEST REFUSAL APPEAL.

License Suspension

A Second Offense DUI Conviction will result in a suspension of your license for up to 2 years. In order to qualify for a 2nd offense hardship license you will need to first complete the 14 day in-patient program. From that program you will need to provide the Registry with a Discharge Summary. You will also need to provide proof of compliance with the after-care ordered by the program. Lastly you will need to provide documentation indicating your hardship. For work or educational purposes you will be eligible for a hardship license 1 year into your suspension. For any other general hardship you will have to complete 18 months of your suspension before you will be eligible for hardship.

Once you are approved for hardship on your 2nd Offense DUI suspension, you will have to arrange for the installation of your IID.

Ignition Interlock Device

An added penalty for a second offense DUI is that you will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car. An IID is essentially a breathalyzer that is integrated into your vehicle’s ignition system. You are required to submit a breath sample every time you start your car and periodically as you drive. As a condition of your second offense (or greater) disposition the ignition interlock device must be installed during any hardship license period as well as for an additional two years following the reinstatement of your license.

What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Facing a Second DUI Charge?

Facing a Second Offense DUI can be daunting, and it's crucial to avoid common pitfalls that may worsen your situation. Here are some of the most frequent mistakes:

  • Failing to Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney: Many individuals underestimate the complexity of DUI laws and attempt to handle their case without professional legal representation. An experienced DUI attorney understands the nuances of the legal system and can provide invaluable guidance and representation that can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
  • Not Taking the Charge Seriously: A second DUI is a grave matter that carries severe penalties, including long-term license suspension, hefty fines, and possible jail time. Some people fail to recognize the severity and do not act promptly or take necessary steps to mitigate the consequences.
  • Ignoring Legal Deadlines: Missing critical deadlines, such as filing for a chemical test refusal appeal or requesting a hardship license, can result in automatic penalties and lost opportunities to defend your case effectively.
  • Inadequate Documentation: Proper documentation is essential for proving eligibility for hardship licenses, compliance with court-ordered programs, and other legal requirements. Failing to gather and submit thorough and accurate documentation can hinder your ability to regain driving privileges and fulfill court mandates.
  • Continuing to Drive on a Suspended License: Driving while your license is suspended can lead to additional criminal charges, extended suspension periods, and increased fines. It's crucial to adhere strictly to your suspension terms and explore legal avenues for reinstating your license.
  • Not Complying with Court-Ordered Programs: Non-compliance with required programs, such as the 14-day in-patient program or the First Offender Driver Alcohol Education Program, can result in further legal actions, extended probation, or harsher penalties. Ensure full participation and completion of all mandated courses and treatments.
  • Neglecting the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement: For those eligible for a hardship license, failing to install an IID as stipulated by the court can delay the reinstatement of your license and add to your legal troubles. It’s important to comply with all IID requirements and maintain the device as instructed.
  • Poor Communication with Your Attorney: Open and honest communication with your attorney is critical. Not providing all relevant information or withholding details can compromise your defense strategy. Keep your attorney informed and proactively follow their advice and instructions.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can better navigate the legal process and work towards a more favorable outcome for your second DUI charge.

Can You Avoid Jail Time After Second DUI?

In the state of Massachusetts, it is possible to avoid jail time after a second DUI offense. Depending on the particular circumstances of the incident and the individual's driving history, the court may decide that an alternative sentence, such as community service or probation, would be more beneficial than jail time.

The first action is to work with an experienced second-offense DUI attorney who can help negotiate a plea bargain. Another step you can take is to challenge the evidence against you in court. There may be grounds for your attorney to argue that the breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests weren't properly administered or that the police lacked probable cause to stop you. There is a possibility that the prosecution will be more willing to negotiate a plea deal that avoids jail time if the evidence against you is weak. With the right combination of legal representation and preparation, individuals can improve their chances of avoiding jail time after a second-offense DUI in Massachusetts.

Although, it is important to note that every DUI case is unique, and the outcome will greatly depend on the specific facts and circumstances that are involved. It is in your best interest to consult with a qualified second-offense DUI attorney in Massachusetts, from DeGiacomo & Mikhlin, P.C., to discuss your legal options and develop a strong strategy for your defense.

Contact Our Second-Offense DUI Lawyer Today

A Second Offense DUI is a serious matter with potentially serious consequences. Your Life and Your License are too important to go it alone. Call Now about your Second Offense DUI for your Free Case Evaluation at (617) 941-3666 so that we can get you back on the road and back to your normal life.

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