Understanding 1st, 2nd & 3rd OUI/DUI Offenses in Massachusetts

by | Feb 5, 2022 | Drivers License Suspension Or Revocation, Drunk Driving, DUI, OUI

Whether you’re facing your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd OUI/DUI offense, working with an experienced DUI attorney is essential to achieving the best outcome in your case. Massachusetts has some of the strictest DUI laws in the United States. Depending on your unique case, you could be facing hefty fines, license suspension, or possible prison time.

What are your rights after committing OUI/DUI in Massachusetts? What types of penalties are you up against after a first, second, or third OUI/DUI offense?

Based in New Bedford, MA, Attorney John B. Seed has fought for thousands of OUI/DUI defendants across Bristol County and Eastern Massachusetts. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Seed and read on to learn more!

1st OUI/DUI Offense

If you’re facing your first OUI/DUI offense, you probably have a lot of thoughts racing through your mind, like:

Will I lose my license? How much money will this cost me? Can I go to jail?

By no means should you take a first OUI/DUI offense lightly ‒ there will be legal and monetary challenges. First offense DUIs are misdemeanors in Massachusetts; however, they can become felony offenses that result in higher fines and potential prison time.

How Much Does a First OUI/DUI Offense Cost?

After a first OUI/DUI offense, you’ll face fines ranging anywhere from $500 to $5,000. (This amount does not include your legal fees, increase in insurance premiums, or potential victim fund fees.)

If you were transporting a minor under the age of 14 at the time of your OUI/DUI charge, you potentially face child endangerment charges, which include additional fines.

Can You Go to Jail for Your First OUI/DUI Offense?

In Massachusetts, there is always the possibility of a jail sentence following a first OUI/DUI offense. A first OUI/DUI offense in Massachusetts carries a penalty of up to 2 ½ years in jail.

You are at a higher risk of receiving a felony conviction and going to jail if there was an accident involved or someone was injured as the result of your DUI. You also face potential jail time if you violate probation or have any prior out-of-state OUI/DUI convictions.

Will You Lose Your License After a First OUI/DUI Offense?

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles can suspend your license for up to one year following your first OUI/DUI conviction. However, there are ways a DUI attorney can minimize the length of your license suspension.

Under the condition that you attend an Alcohol Education Program, for example, you may be able to get your license back in less than a year. You may also be eligible for a hardship license, which would allow you to continue driving with restrictions in place (a 12-hour window of time to drive each day, an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, etc.)

If you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest, you most likely will not qualify for a hardship license ‒ but there are other steps you and your attorney can take to appeal your license suspension and have it reinstated sooner rather than later.

Were you recently pulled over and charged with your first OUI/DUI offense? Contact Attorney John B. Seed today.

2nd OUI/DUI Offense

You’ve been charged with your second OUI/DUI. You’ve been here before, but the challenges you currently face are going to be more stringent than those of your first OUI/DUI offense.

How Much Does a Second OUI/DUI Offense Cost?

Fines resulting from a second OUI/DUI offense can range anywhere from $600 to $10,000 ‒ not including your legal and assessment fees!

Were you transporting a child under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest? A child endangerment charge will carry fines worth between $1,000 to $5,000, including license suspension and potential jail time.

Can You Go to Jail for Your Second OUI/DUI Offense?

Second offense OUI/DUIs are usually considered misdemeanors in Massachusetts, as most convicted individuals go on probation rather than go to jail.

However, second offense OUI/DUIs can become felonies if the OUI/DUI results in an accident, injuries, or death. Felony OUI/DUI can result in up to 2+ years of prison time.

Regardless if you receive a misdemeanor or felony second offense OUI/DUI, you will receive a lifetime status of Repeat Offender under Massachusetts’ Lifetime Lookback policy.

Will You Lose Your License After a Second OUI/DUI Offense?

A second OUI/DUI offense almost always results in a 2-year license suspension.

If you complied with the breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest, you may be eligible for a hardship license one year into your suspension. You will receive your hardship license on the condition that you complete a 14-day in-patient rehabilitation program and have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

Are you facing your second OUI/DUI offense? You need a reputable DUI attorney by your side. Contact the office of Attorney John B. Seed today to get started on your case.

3rd OUI/DUI Offense

No matter what, a third OUI/DUI offense is a felony and carries a 150-day minimum jail sentence. What else are you up against following your third OUI/DUI offense?

How Much Does a Third OUI/DUI Offense Cost?

Following your third OUI/DUI offense, you’ll face fines ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 ‒ not including additional legal fees or fines resulting from co-occurring child endangerment charges.

Can You Go to Jail for Your Third OUI/DUI Offense?

At the minimum, you will spend at least 150 days and up to 2 ½ years in jail and then go on parole or probation. It’s not uncommon for judges to order third DUI offenders to prison, anywhere from two to five years.

Will You Lose Your License After a Third DUI Offense?

Massachusetts’ Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will suspend your license for up to eight years. If you have a prior OUI/DUI offense that involved vehicular manslaughter or bodily injury charges, you could have your license revoked for up to ten years.

Additionally, the court may order an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Within two years of your license suspension, you may be eligible for a hardship license if you agreed to a breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest.

Once your license is fully reinstated, you must drive with an ignition interlock device for two years.

Steadfast & Reliable Legal Representation

OUI/DUI charges don’t have to stall your life. When you’re up against OUI/DUI charges in Massachusetts, you need an experienced attorney who will fight for the best possible outcome.

Whether you’re currently facing your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd OUI/DUI offense, Attorney John B. Seed is ready to stand by your side. No matter if you’re located in New Bedford, Brighton, or the Greater Boston metro area, contact our office today to get started on your case.