You can be charged with various lawsuits if you operate a motor vehicle after using alcohol or drugs. You may have heard of DUI, DWI, or OUI, and while they all refer to driving under the influence or similar charges, they don’t mean the same thing in some circumstances. A criminal defense attorney in Boston can help you understand what the terms mean and the penalties they attract.
However, OUI, which means operating under the influence, is the most commonly used term describing drunk driving laws in Massachusetts. It’s a serious offense that can attract hefty penalties and lead to devastating consequences.
What Are the Various Definitions of OUI, DWI, and DUI?
DUI, DWI, and OUI are standard terms for drunk driving charges, but they’re not the only ones. Each has a specific meaning within the penal code in each respective state.
- DUI means driving under the influence and typically implies intoxication by substances. like alcohol, drugs, prescription medicine, or intoxicating fumes from paints and glue.
- OUI means operating under the influence and is the preferred term for the criminal charges related to impaired or drunk driving. It’s not uncommon for the terminology OUI vs. DUI to be used interchangeably in informal contexts.
- DWI can mean driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired depending on the specific state.
- DWAI is less common term but means driving while ability impaired. It’s a vital distinction for drivers in states like New York, where DWAI is a different and generally less severe offense than DWI.
What Are Some Situations Where the Terms Differ?
If a law enforcement officer pulls you over after you’ve had too many beers and have probable cause to arrest you, they may charge you with DUI, DWI, or OUI. DUI is a more severe charge, while DWI is a lesser charge for those with a blood concentration of between 0.7 and 0.79% and without visible signs of impairment. If the police charge you with all three, you can only be convicted for one in court.
You must understand what each acronym stands for if you or a loved one are arrested for impaired driving. That involves substances like prescription medications, marijuana, alcohol, and other substances that hinder your judgment.
What Are the Penalties for OUI, DUI, or DWI Charges?
No significant differences exist in the penalties OUI, DUI, and DWI attract. All the acronyms are generally an expression of the regional preferences in terminology rather than legal differences.
Here are the penalties you may face for OUI:
- First-time OUI offense: The court could withdraw your driver’s license for 4 to 90 days, imprison you for up to two and a half years, or impose a fine of between $500 and $5,000. You may also be required to attend an alcohol awareness program.
- Second OUI offense: It attracts a compulsory 30-day jail sentence or a maximum of two and a half years. The court may also impose a $600 to $1,000 fine and withdraw your driving privileges.
- Third OUI offense: It attracts a fine of between $1,000 and $15,000 and a minimum of 150 jail days. Beyond the third offense, you’ll be charged with a felony, attracting a minimum of one year in prison. You’ll also lose your right to own a gun or vote.
In addition to these penalties, you may have to pay a lot of money to reinstate your license or be forced to use public transportation.
How Can You Get OUI, DUI, or DWI Charges Dropped?
Being charged with DUI for the first time can be frightening. However, retaining an experienced Boston OUI attorney can help you get the charge dropped without conviction, trial, plea, or finding of guilt. The possibility of this outcome depends on the facts of your case.
When Can a DUI Be Dismissed Before Trial?
Sometimes the court can dismiss a DUI charge because of a gross error by the prosecution. When the law enforcers violate the legal procedures, the court may find that the case has been compromised. The same may happen if the facts are at odds with the details leading to the charges.
Other broad reasons that may cause the court to drop your DUI case include:
- General lack of admissible evidence
- Improper field testing techniques
- Mishandled evidence
- Lack of reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop
- An unlawful stop, search, or interrogation
- Faulty breath test devices
While the odds of dropping a DUI charge before trial are low, it happens occasionally.
How Do You Find the Right OUI or DUI Attorney to Defend You?
When looking for a Boston OUI attorney to represent you in your case, you can start by searching in your network of friends and family. Anyone who has hired a criminal defense lawyer in the past may be able to recommend someone with the experience and skills to represent you successfully.
You can also look up an attorney online, but ensure to look for specific information about them. For example, case results, past reviews, experience, and their caseload are crucial factors to help you to decide. Once you have a few lawyers in mind, set up a meeting with them and find out how they can adequately represent you.
Experienced DUI Attorneys Aggressively Defending Your Rights
OUI, DUI, or DWI charges are serious and carry severe penalties, and it can be challenging to represent yourself in court. It would be best if you had someone who clearly understands DUI laws in Massachusetts to defend you in court. Only an experienced Boston OUI attorney will favorably fight the charges against you.
Our firm is ready to help you with the process. Our defense attorney will aggressively challenge every incriminating evidence against you and create a strong defense strategy to uphold your freedom. Contact us to schedule a free consultation for the advice and guidance you need to move forward.