Even the most minor DUI charge is worth approaching in a careful manner. States like Massachusetts take driving under the influence very seriously, and even a first offense with no injuries could prove problematic. That said, there are many different types of DUI charges in Massachusetts, and it makes sense to carefully consider the potential consequences you might be facing. But what exactly are the different DUI charges in Massachusetts?
First DUI Offense
A first-time DUI offender typically receives a lighter sentence. This is considered a misdemeanor, and it can result in a maximum jail sentence of 2.5 years. Your license will also be suspended for up to one year, and you will face up to $5,000 in fines. Of course, you stand a better chance of a lighter sentence if you plead guilty – although this may not be necessary if your criminal defense attorney believes there is a viable defense strategy to plead not guilty. For example, the police officer who made the arrest may have made an error that forces the court to dismiss the case. For example, the police officer may have acted unconstitutionally.
Second DUI Offense
When you commit a second DUI offense, you can expect a much more serious penalty. While this is still considered a misdemeanor, you will face a minimum of 60 days in jail. You can also face a license suspension of up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000. In the court’s eyes, you have already been given a second chance with a light sentence for your first DUI. Repeat offenders have essentially proven that they have not learned their lesson.
Third Offense DUI
A third offense DUI is a much more serious offense compared to a first or second offense. This is considered a felony, and you can expect to spend at least three months behind bars. Your license will also be suspended for up to eight years, and you face up to $15,000 in fines.
Fourth and Fifth Offense DUI
If you commit a fourth DUI, you will spend at least one year in prison and a license suspension of up to 10 years. In addition, you may be fined up to $25,000. A fifth DUI can result in up to five years in prison, plus a lifetime license suspension. You may also be fined $50,000.
DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury
Even if it was your first DUI, you may still face felony charges. This is because your first DUI may have resulted in a serious bodily injury, which automatically makes it a much more serious offense. You can spend up to 10 years in prison for this offense, and your license may be suspended for up to two years.
DUI Causing Death
This is perhaps the most serious DUI offense on the books in Massachusetts. If you are convicted of this felony, you can expect to spend up to 15 years in prison. Your license may also be suspended for life.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?
If you need help with a DUI charge in Massachusetts, get in touch with Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law at your earliest convenience. The truth is that internet research can only get you so far. Each DUI situation is unique, and reading online articles can not provide you with the same level of targeted guidance as an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney. Book your consultation at your earliest convenience to get started with a solid defense strategy.