Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Alternative DUI Sentencing Programs in Massachusetts

Most criminal courts agree that people should be given a second chance. While DUIs are generally frowned upon by society, it is certainly not the worst crime that you can commit. Because of this, it may be possible to pursue alternative sentencing programs for some DUI charges. These alternative programs can save you from time behind bars, fines, and other penalties. But is this really a viable option for you? Let's find out: 

Do These Programs Actually Achieve Anything?

Yes. If they did not help make our roads safer, courts would have abandoned these programs a long time ago. And interestingly enough, these programs are getting better and better with each passing year. On March 7, 2023, Medscape reported that a "novel sobriety program" tested in Massachusetts had the potential to reduce mortality rates associated with drunk driving by 55%. This study was conducted specifically with individuals who had been arrested for DUIs in the past. This "24/7 Sobriety Program" shows real promise, and this is why courts are so supportive of individuals who genuinely want to address their behavior. 

What are My Options?

One potential option for first offenders is the "24D Disposition." This is only available to DUI offenders whose actions are not associated with deaths or serious injuries. 

Under this program, you may get probation for as many as two years. You will also be required to go through a mandatory alcohol education program, and you must pay for this out of your own pocket. You will lose your license for 45 days and need to pay a range of fees. And that is it – no time behind bars and no fines. Obviously, this is an excellent option to pursue if it is your first time committing a DUI – and your lawyer can help you strive for this outcome.

In most cases, this alternative program only applies to first-time offenders. However, there is a chance you could still pursue a 24D Alternative Disposition if you have committed a second DUI offense within a lifetime. However, your first offense must have occurred about 10 years prior to your second offense for the judge to even consider this possibility. Still, it is worth mentioning. Even if you do not qualify for this option, you may pursue a range of alternatives to jail time, including community service or suspended sentences. Speak with your lawyer about your specific options based on your circumstances. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts? 

If you have been searching for a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, consider Edward R. Molary, Attorney at Law. We know how daunting it can be to face a DUI – especially if there is a possibility of incarceration. But with the right attorney at your side, you can approach this situation with confidence and efficiency. Book your consultation today to explore the potential for alternative sentencing programs. Reach out now and get started with an effective defense strategy.