Have you or someone you know recently been charged with drunk driving in the state of Massachusetts? Are you wondering just how serious of a charge it is, what it means for your future driving record, and what exactly you can and should do about it? To put it simply, a drunk driving charge is something that should always be taken seriously for several different reasons. Here’s a look at just how serious of a charge this is and why it should matter to you.
A Few Factors at Play
The first thing to understand about a DUI charge is that the punishment you receive will be based on many different factors. In other words, the ramifications will vary from person to person. This is something any experienced car accident lawyer in Massachusetts can advise you on so that you know what to expect.
The court system will specifically be looking at your driving history and your age. For example, the punishment will differ based on whether it is your first or second offence and so forth. Another thing the court will be looking at is whether or not you agreed to a breathalyzer test or even a blood test after you were arrested. If you refused to be tested, then you will be given an automatic driver’s license suspension. This lasts for 180 days so, obviously, that will have a big impact on your life immediately.
What Kind of Punishment are You Looking at?
As for what the punishment looks like if you are found guilty, that differs as well. It will again be based on your driving history and the specifics of that charge. With a first offence, you can be given one or more fines of $500-$5,000, imprisonment of up to 2.5 years, House of Correction, probation, mandatory driver alcohol education program attendance, and a license suspension.
The punishment becomes more serious if this isn’t your first offence, as the court takes it even more seriously – which means it’ll have more of a lasting impact on your life. With each offence, the fine will increase, the amount of jail time can increase, the suspension increases, the offence can turn into a felony status, and more. The idea is that, with each offence, the penalty gets more punitive and severe. Ask yourself how your life will change if you no longer have access to a car, you are facing jail time, or you are slapped with a large fine.
What Should You Do?
If you are under the impression that a drunk driving charge in Massachusetts is no big deal, it’s time to think again. Not only can it impact you immediately, such as with a license suspension, but depending on how many prior charges you have on your record, you could be looking at serious penalties. This is exactly why it’s wise to hire a DUI lawyer as soon as possible as they will guide you and represent you in the best possible way.
A drunk driving charge in the state of Massachusetts is extremely serious, no matter how minor you may think it is. Taking it seriously from the start will help ensure the best outcome possible.