Drunk Driving Crimes
Massachusetts drunk driving charges, even simple operating under the influence or OUI / DUI alcohol or drugs, are prosecuted very aggressively by prosecutors across the courts of the Commonwealth. These are the types of criminal charges that prosecutors will most often not consider dismissing or giving a criminal defendant any sort of "break" on, even if it is your first offense. If you have been the subject of a drunk driving related arrest, you should consult with an experience drunk driving defense lawyer who has experience in defending against OUI / DUI charges and contact Boston DUI Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis for a Free Consultation.
Although OUI / DUI and related drunk driving offenses are common and are of the type of crimes that are often committed by persons with no prior criminal record or involvement with police or courts, the consequences of a OUI/DUI criminal conviction often have a significant and long-lasting effect on a person's life. Not only do DUI / OUI charges carry a potential for a term of imprisonment, significant other penalties may also result, including driver's license suspension, probation, counseling, fines, drug and/or alcohol treatment, community service, and in subsequent drunk driving convictions, Massachusetts law requires that an Iginition Interlock Device be installed on your vehicle.
How good of a defense to you may have to your OUI / DUI charge will vary upon the circumstances of each individual case and a number of factors. The strength or weakness of the prosecutor's case against you will often depend on the police officer's observations of the alleged manner in which the vehicle was operated: whether there was an accident; failure to obey with the traffic laws; your conduct and demeanor one you were pulled over; and the results of any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests that were administered. In OUI / DUI prosecutions, the police and prosecutors will try to use every little observation of any missteps as building blocks to establish evidence that the driver had consumed enough alcohol or drugs that his ability to operated the vehicle safely was impaired.
It is important to know that it is not against the law to drink and drive. You can go out to dinner with friends and family and have a drink over dinner. The question under the law, however, becomes, whether you have consumed an amount of alcohol that ultimately impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. In many drunk driving cases I have defended against, the question of "impairment" for the jury to consider often comes down to the testimony and opinion of the police officer conducted the OUI/DUI stop. Remember, police officers are trained to investigate suspected drunk driving motorists, but they are not infallible. They are often trained witnesses and they testify before a jury in a way to try and convince the jury that their "suspicions" are correct. Police officers will use particular words to describe why they believe the motorist was "under the influence", such as their observations that the person had "slurred speech", or was "thick tongued", or "unsteady on his feet", or that they "observed a strong odor of alcohol on their person."
Examples of specific factors that the police look for when pulling over someone for suspected operating under the influence include whether the person had an odor of alcohol on his breath; slurred speech; glassy or bloodshot eyes; and inability to maintain balance. One must keep in mind that the police are trained to look for simple 'cues' and often simply requests by the police are posed to build their case against you. For instance, an officer asking the driver to produce his license and registration, a standard request when pulling someone over for anything, is asked to determine whether the driver is able to follow simple commands. If the person is unable to locate his registration or gives the officer a credit card instead of his license, that will be relied upon by the officer in determining whether the driver is impaired and operating under the influence of alcohol. The police officer investigating the suspected drunk driving stop will say, for example, that the person "was not readily able to produce his license or registration" or "was unable to follow simple commands." The more "cues" that the officer testifies to the more factors the prosecutor will argue to the jury are indicative that the defendant's ability to operate the motor vehicle safely was "impaired" by alcohol.
Ultimately, it is the prosecutor on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who must prove each and every element of the offense by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the prosecutor has the entire burden of proof in every criminal case, a criminal defendant is not required to testify or present any evidence in his defense. This is because everyone is presumed to be innocent. In some cases, however, although not ideal, it may be necessary to prepare a client to testify in his own defense if that becomes necessary. Each case and all facts are different, and so any such decision to testify will ultimately rest with the client, but in every case, the client will be fully prepared to testify if that becomes necessary.
Other Related OUI / DUI / Drunk Driving Crimes May Include:
- Vehicular Homicide by OUI / DUI
- Manslaughter While Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence
- Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing Serious Bodily Injury
- Negligent or Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injury
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Death
- Refusal to Submit to Police Officer
- Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drug After License Suspended for Previous OUI / DUI
- Operation of Motor Vehicle with Open Alcohol Container
- Underage Drunk Driving
- Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
If you don't want to go to jail or face significant fines, probation and a suspension of their driver's license, particularly if you're charged with a second or subsequent OUI / DUI in Massachusetts, and if you want any chance of beating your case, then you should be represented by a lawyer who is experienced in assessing your OUI / DUI case and evaluating how to best defend against your drunk driving charges. Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis will evaluate the police report and all the allegations levied against you; sit down with you and explain the process and all the potential issues; and then develop an effective defense strategy to give your case the best chance of success at trial.Massachusetts OUI / DUI Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for a free consultation and can explain your legal rights and any defenses to your OUI / DUI and related charges.
If you would like to schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston DUI / Drunk Driving Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis or call directly at 617-325-9500.