Being arrested for drinking and driving and being charged with and convicted of an OUI can have a significant impact on your life, both because you may face immediate penalties–like potential jail time and large fines–and because an OUI offense can stay on your record for years to come. If you are facing OUI charges, the smartest thing that you can do is to hire an experienced attorney who can defend you during your case. If you are convicted of an OUI, here’s what you should know about how long an OUI will stay on your record in Massachusetts–
Effects of an OUI on Your Driving and Criminal Records
When a person is convicted of an OUI in Massachusetts, that conviction will show up in two places: the individual’s criminal record and the individual’s driving record. Because Massachusetts has some of the strictest OUI laws in the country, an OUI can stay on one’s criminal record for life and may appear on one’s driving record for at least 10 years. As such, you’ll need to be concerned about how to keep an OUI off of both types of records, or/and what steps you can take to have the OUI removed from your record as quickly as possible.
Keeping an OUI Off of Your Record
There are a couple of options for minimizing the impact of an OUI conviction on your life and your records.
First, in order to keep an OUI off of your criminal record, you may be eligible for a 24D probation, found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 24D. If you are placed on a 24D probation, which lasts for up to two years, your case will be continued without finding until you have completed the program. Usually, after the program is completed–assuming that all goes well–the case will be dismissed, which means that the OUI will not show up on your criminal record. Note that a 24D probation is almost always only available to first-time offenders; if you are facing charges for a second- or subsequent-offense OUI, talk to your attorney about your options.
Unfortunately, even if you have the case continued without finding, the OUI offense will still show up on your driving record (after a decade has passed, you can request to have it removed). This may impact your insurance rates, your ability to obtain certain types of employment (i.e. jobs as a driver), and could impact future penalties if you receive a subsequent OUI charge in the future.
Another option may be to have your OUI record sealed or expunged. Talk to an attorney to learn more.
Talk to an Experienced OUI Attorney Today
If you are facing operating under the influence charges in Massachusetts, the biggest mistake that you could make would be attempting to represent yourself. Instead, it’s important that you work with a qualified legal professional who has experienced representing clients facing OUI charges. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our aggressive OUI attorney can help. Call Attorney Moraski today at (978) 397-0011 or send our law firm a direct message for a consultation and the help you need.