Boston OUI Defense Lawyer
Facing OUI Charges in Massachusetts? Let the Law Offices of James G. DeGiacomo Help!
Operating under the influence (OUI) is a serious criminal offense in Massachusetts. A person can be charged with OUI for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent, unless he/she is a commercial driver (.04 percent) or under 21 years old (.02 percent).
If you or a loved one was recently arrested for OUI in Boston, do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Offices of James G. DeGiacomo for experienced and responsive legal services. With nearly a decade of legal experience, Attorney James G. DeGiacomo is a former prosecutor who has handled thousands of criminal cases, including many OUI cases.
Elements of Massachusetts OUI Laws
According to Massachusetts Laws, to prove you guilty of OUI/DUI/DWI the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a Reasonable Doubt. That you (1) operated a motor vehicle, (2) upon a public way, (3) while impaired by the ingestion of alcohol or illicit drugs. If they cannot establish one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you are entitled to a verdict of Not Guilty. Here is just a brief explanation of how these issues are fleshed out at trial.
To prove that you operated a motor vehicle, the Commonwealth needs to show that you took some affirmative action that either on its own, or in sequence, would set the car in motion. If you weren’t behind the wheel, or if the keys weren’t in the ignition, or if the engine wasn’t on, this can be a difficult element for the government to prove. Your statement that you were “just driving home from a party” does not, as a matter of law, prove that you operated that car. Attorney James G. DeGiacomo as a former Massachusetts prosecutor knows when Operation is an issue in your OUI case. Based on the facts of your case he may show the jury that the Commonwealth cannot prove that you were driving beyond a Reasonable Doubt and that you are not guilty.
A public way, for purposes of Massachusetts OUI law, includes all state and interstate highways as well as municipal streets and roads. It also includes public parking areas as well as those places to which the general public has a right of access whether as guests or customers. More often than not, if you’re driving a car there, chances are it is a public way.
To convict you of an OUI in Massachusetts the prosecution must prove that at the time that you were operating that motor vehicle, on that public way, your ability to do so safely was impaired by the ingestion of alcohol. There are two ways for the government to prove your impairment. The first is through evidence of your operation and performance on field sobriety tests. In virtually every Massachusetts OUI case, the officer will indicate that your eyes were “bloodshot and glassy” or that there was an “odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath” and that when you spoke, your speech was slow and slurred. None of these things mean that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was hampered in anyway.
Field Sobriety Tests
You have an affirmative right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests. The police cannot compel you to jump through hoops just because they ask you to. If you perform the Alphabet Test, the Counting Backwards Test, the Nine-Step-Walk-And-Turn Test, or the One-Legged Stand Test, officers will draw conclusions as to how your performance indicates to them that you cannot drive safely. Your performance on Field Sobriety tests is subjective and their ability to prove that you can’t drive safely is weak. As your Boston OUI Lawyer, Attorney James G. DeGiacomo will show the jury that your performance on those tests is not enough to prove that you were too impaired to drive safely beyond a reasonable doubt.
Another way by which the Commonwealth can try to prove that you were “impaired” at the time that you were operating is by admission of evidence indicating that at the time your blood alcohol content was 0.08% or greater. This is most often presented in the form of a Breathalyzer Test Result.
You have an affirmative right to refuse the Breathalyzer. Assert that right. If you submit to a Breathalyzer test, you are providing the police with evidence that they can and will use against you in your criminal case.
There are many ways by which Attorney James G. DeGiacomo can call into question the validity of your Breathalyzer test sample. For example, as your body processes alcohol your BAC may rise or fall over time. The Portable Breath Test that many people submit to at the roadside is not admissible in your criminal case; the only breath sample that the Commonwealth may use against you at trial is the one that you provide at the police station sometime after your arrest and long after you were driving. If you give a breath sample an hour after you were driving, maybe your BAC is higher than it was when you were behind the wheel. The statute requires proof that you were impaired at the time that you were driving that motor vehicle, not an hour later at the police station. That is reasonable doubt that will help prove your innocence.
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