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Second Offense Operating Under the Influence (OUI) Disposition and Suspensions in Massachusetts

When charged with a Second Offense OUI in Massachusetts there are several important factors to remember. Firstly, in Massachusetts subsequent OUI offenses charged under M.G.L C 90, s.24, uses a lifetime lookback period. If you have an OUI conviction or Continuance Without A Finding (CWOF) anywhere in your past, in any state, a new OUI charge will be an enhanced charge at the appropriate subsequent offense level. This means that you are exposed to harsher consequences in a second offense OUI situation.

More specifically, a Second Offense OUI’s penalty is incarceration in the house of corrections for not less than 60 days, not more than 2 ½ years and a fine of $600-$10,000. Further, the license suspension by the registry of motor vehicles (RMV) is for 2 years with the potential for a work/education hardship license considered in 1 year and a general hardship license in 18 months. A condition of a granted hardship license is the installation of an ignition interlock device. Additionally, to eventually get your license back from the RMV there will be a $700 reinstatement fee imposed. However, the court may enter an alternative disposition of probation with a 14 day confined treatment program.

With the consequences of a Second Offense OUI it is important to engage an experienced attorney early. An attorney can discuss a further potential outcome of a Second Offense OUI known as a Cahill disposition. A Cahill disposition is named after the case of Commonwealth v. Cahill, 442 Mass. 127 (2004). Specifically, a Cahill disposition on a Second Offense OUI allows for the imposition of a first offense penalty if the prior OUI is older than 10 years.

What does a Cahill disposition mean to you? Well it means instead of the draconian penalties of a second offense your attorney maybe able to negotiate a lower fine of $500-$5,000. Also, instead of the mandatory 60 day jail sentence or 14 day inpatient program your attorney may be able to negotiate probation with a mandatory participation in the 24d alcohol-drug education program. Also, the license suspension would allow for a hardship license after enrollment in the 24d program with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

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