In Massachusetts, the term Operating Under the Influence (OUI) is used to describe any individual who is found to have consumed an alcoholic beverage or chemical substance which impairs their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
If convicted of an OUI in Massachusetts, individuals can face potential time in jail, loss of their driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record. In addition, the OUI will appear on the defendant’s driving record for 10 years.
Furthermore, individuals should also be aware that Massachusetts does not allow OUI offenses to be expunged under time-based requirements. However, an alternate option is to petition the court to have a criminal record sealed. When a criminal record is sealed, it is no longer available to the public, unlike an expungement that makes it seem like the crime never happened.
If you are facing an OUI charge, you need a skilled Massachusetts driver’s license suspension lawyer who can fight to help you protect your driving privileges, reputation, and future.
Who is Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device In Massachusetts?
Suppose an individual has two or more OUI convictions. In that case, they are required by Massachusetts law to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle for a two-year period to have their driver’s license reinstated or qualify for a hardship license. The individual is responsible for all the installation and monthly maintenance costs accompanying an IID.
What is Melanie’s Law?
Melanie’s Law, which went into effect in October 2005, enhanced the penalties for individuals convicted of OUI. As a result, Melanie’s law requires IIDs to be used by drivers as a condition for being able to have their licenses reinstated or for those with hardship licenses. However, to be eligible for a hardship license, individuals must prove they cannot access public transportation to their destinations.
What Vehicles Must Have an Ignition Interlock Device?
Massachusetts law is stringent regarding the IIDs and what vehicles they must be installed in, which include:
- Every vehicle that is registered to the defendant,
- Any vehicle leased to the defendant,
- Any work vehicle provided to the defendant by their employer.
Finally, the individual must return to the vendor every month to have the device services and the IID records uploaded to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you still need information about the consequences of a second OUI conviction, contact an ignition interlock device defense lawyer in Massachusetts who can answer your question and explain your legal rights.
When Can an OUI Conviction Be Expunged?
As previously stated, in most cases, Massachusetts does not allow individuals convicted of OUI to expunge their records. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including individuals who have been wrongly convicted because their identity was used unlawfully by another party. Additionally, an OUI conviction may be eligible for expungement if it is determined that a law enforcement official or court employee committed an error.
Nevertheless, if you have been convicted of an OUI, you may be able to have your OUI conviction sealed from public view, which can potentially allow you to start with a clean slate. Individuals who may qualify to have a conviction sealed include those whose cases ended in a non-conviction ruling, including a dismissal, not guilty verdict, or “continued without finding.”
It can be challenging to try and navigate the complex legal system independently. If you would like to learn more about Massachusetts laws regarding OUI expungement, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney who can answer your questions and determine your legal options.
A Highly Trained Massachusetts Driver’s License Defense Lawyer Providing Solid Legal Representation For Clients
Individuals should be aware that they should never drink and drive as the repercussions from an OUI conviction can be long-lasting negative consequences. An OUI conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life and jeopardize your future and standing in the community.
Our legal team has extensive experience in helping individuals deal with mistakes from their past and would be honored to review your case.
Therefore, if you would like more information regarding the long-term effects of an OUI and what options you may have to put your conviction behind you, contact The Law Office of Brian Simoneau, P.C., at 508-625-5776 for a consultation to discuss your case.