One of the most important rights that we have is the right to a trial by jury, to confront and cross-examine our accusers, and to make the prosecution prove each and every element of its drunk driving case, beyond a reasonable doubt.
Because of the consequences associated with a Natick MA DUI plea, in most cases, it is recommended that an OUI charge be fought and taken to trial. However, this is not an option for some people. Individuals arrested for DUI who need to get back on the road immediately, with a 12 hour hardship license, may elect to “plead out.”
Even though you are not taking the case to trial, it may still make sense to hire a lawyer to handle your Natick Mass DUI plea bargain. A good DUI attorney can make sure that your plea will not trigger unforeseen consequences such as a 4 year habitual traffic offender revocation. Also, having a lawyer handle your plea may get you back on the road sooner, because the attorney can likely advance the court date. An attorney will negotiate the best possible deal, which may save you time and money in the long run. Having a lawyer handle the Natick DUI plea plea can also make the hardship licensing process smoother and quicker.
You should not plead guilty to a first offense DUI. Instead, you should seek to make an admission to sufificent facts. This admission will be followed by an alcohol program assignment, continauce without a finding (CWOF) and, eventually, a dismissal of the charges. It is a mistake to plead guilty to a first offense OUI, when a lawyer can likely get you a CWOF and dismissal. This alternative disposition for first offenders, and some second offenders, is available pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D and Commonwealth v. Cahill, 422 Mass. 127 (2004).
If you plead out to a first offense OUI, even under the best of circumstances, with the most favorable deal, you can expect to pay approximately $3,000.00 in fines, fees, costs, and assessments for a first offense DUI in Massachusetts. This does not include the increased automobile insurance premiums which you will be required to pay.
You will be placed on probation for 1 year and you will have to complete a 16 week outpatient alcohol program, known as the G.L. c. 90 § 24D First Offender Program. Completion of this program is mandatory and dropping out will likely result in a probation violation and the revocation of any hardship driver's license.
For a 1st offense, your license and right to drive will be suspended for at least 45 days, in addition to any breathalyzer refusal suspension, which must be served first. All prior DUI offenses count towards the DUI license suspension, even if the prior offense was resolved by a CWOF (continuance without a finding).
Prior to trying to plead your case out, you should speak with a qualified Massachusetts DUI lawyer. Nearly all DUI attorneys in Massachusetts offer free consultations and case reviews. At no charge, for no obligation, a lawyer will thoroughly review your police report, criminal record, and driving record. After reviewing these important documents and interviewing you regarding the case, the attorney will make a recommendation.
If you are facing a DUI charge and you do not know whether to plead out or not, call today for advice, assistance, and information. You will feel better after speaking with a lawyer.