OUI:The Driving Offense You May Not Know
Most people are knowledgeable about DUI charges, and many in certain states even understand the distinction between DUIs and DWIs (driving while intoxicated). Throughout America, however, the term OUI isn’t well known. As mentioned, this charge only exists in a few states, so it’s no surprise that not as many people are familiar with it. An OUI charge is very similar to DUI charges, but there is at least one big difference.
For a person to be charged with DUI in many states, a driver must physically be driving their vehicle while under the influence. In states that have OUI charges, however, a person can sometimes be charged simply for being behind the wheel while intoxicated. In fact, the vehicle doesn’t necessarily even have to be turned on for the state to bring forth these charges. Due to the severity of this offense, it is a good idea to seek the advice of attorneys, like Jack Diamond and other legal professionals, who are well versed in its nuances.
Those who don’t live in areas with OUI laws on the books will likely be astounded after they learn of the potential penalties for this conviction. In Massachusetts, for instance, a first time OUI offender can actually face up to 30 months behind bars. In addition, fines can range all the way up to $5,000, and a minimum fine of $500 will be imposed. Even more of a burden, Bay Staters will also face a yearlong license suspension and $65 per month probation fines.
States increase DUI and OUI penalties if a person is considered a habitual offender, and many areas will look back at a person’s record for five to ten years to consider whether or not they’ve been previously convicted. In the OUI state of Massachusetts, however, courts will look back a full 30 years. Since a second DUI conviction in the state can bring a 30 month jail sentence and fines of up to $10,000, this can be especially detrimental.
What Drivers Should Know
Many people feel as if a failed Breathalyzer test constitutes an automatic conviction in a drunk driving case, but those who live in OUI states simply cannot afford to make this mistake. The potential consequences of a guilty plea or verdict are quite literally life changing. This is why anyone facing OUI charges should immediately seek out a DUI lawyer.
Legal professionals are adept at all OUI defenses. Some defenses include no probable cause for a traffic stop or Breathalyzer issues which could’ve caused invalid results. There are a variety of defenses to this charge, so it’s imperative for a person to sit down with their attorney and figure out the best game plan. It could literally save a person years of their life.
Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a good idea, but there’s no doubt that some states’ laws pertaining to this crime are relatively severe compared to other states. This is why it’s so essential for an individual to fight OUI charges as vigilantly as possible. A conviction could land a person in jail for years in some situations, so there’s no doubt that seeking out legal help is an incredibly good investment.