The third offense of operating under the influence is a felony in Massachusetts. A first and second OUI is considered a misdemeanor, so a third offense is treated much differently in the criminal court system. The elements of an OUI are the same no matter what number offense it is. However, the penalties are much harsher.
Elements of a Third OUI
To be found guilty of an OUI, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must prove the defendant did all three:
- Operating a motor vehicle;
- On a public way; and
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor
At trial, a jury will not know if the defendant has been convicted of prior OUI offenses.
It’s not too late
Third Offense OUI Outcomes in MA
If you are caught driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and it is your third offense, you could face severe penalties. Penalties include, but not limited to, fines, license suspension, and imprisonment. There are far less potential dispositions when it comes to OUI third, compared to first and second.
Option 1: Guilty Verdict
State Prison: Not less than 180 days but not more than 5 years (60 months). 150 days mandatory.
License Suspension: 8 years
-Work/Education Hardship license considered in 2 years. Must complete a 90-day inpatient treatment program to be eligible.
– General Hardship license considered in 4 year.
Ignition Interlock Device: 2 years after license renewal
– Must be installed during any hardship license
Fines and Fees: Not more than $15,000
Refusal to a Breath Test: License will be suspended for an additional 5 years with no hardship eligibility.
Option 2: Not Guilty (Acquittal)
Doesn’t result in a guilty verdict (conviction) on your record. Our office can help seal a criminal record.
Frequently Asked Third Offense OUI Questions
Can I Avoid Jail Time for My 3rd Offense OUI in Massachusetts?
The best way to avoid jail time on a 3rd offense OUI is to hire a strong team for your defense. Bringing an attorney with you to your arraignment is crucial as there could be significant bail-related issues. Since a 3rd offense in Massachusetts is a felony offense, avoiding jail time will require thoughtful and determined OUI trial lawyers.
Can I Refuse the Breathalyzer Test if I Have Already Been Convicted of an OUI?
Yes. You can refuse the breath test at any time, both at the scene with officers or back at booking. Previous OUI convictions do not affect your right to refuse the breath test. They will, however, potentially have an impact on the length of your license suspension, depending on whether you refused before.
Should I Go to Trial for an OUI 3rd Offense?
Every case is different, and every set of facts can demand a specific strategy. The choice to go to trial is entirely the choice of the defendant. A strong legal team behind you can analyze your case and advise you on your options.
What is the Life Look-Back Rule in Massachusetts?
This refers to the capacity of the prosecutor in your case to see and utilize all prior OUI convictions in determining the penalties that they intend to levy against you. However, just because they can see the previous OUI’s doesn’t necessarily mean they will be used against you.
- OUI- Drugs
- OUI With a Suspended License
- Child Endangerment
- Leaving the Scene- Property Damage
- Leaving the Scene- Personal Injury
- Marked Lanes Violation
- Negligent Operation
- Open Container
Get an Experienced Massachusetts OUI Defense Attorney on Your Side
OUI 3rd offense cases are complex and challenging, but you don’t have to face them alone. At Nate Amendola Defense, we have the knowledge to help you navigate the court system. We understand the serious consequences of an OUI change and will work side by side with you to develop a personalized defense strategy. Contact us now, online or by phone at 781-650-6676, to learn more about our approach to an OUI defense.
Nate Amendola contact