Operating With License Suspended for OUI
Massachusetts law provides for enhanced penalties when a person is charged with operating a motor vehicle with his or her license suspended for a previous OUI (Driving Under the Influence). In contrast to the ordinary charge of driving with a license suspended for some other reason, driving with a license suspended for a previous OUI carries a mandatory minimum sentence of sixty days in jail. Neither the Court nor the District Attorney have the authority to resolve a case where someone is charged with operating a vehicle with a license suspended for a previous OUI without including a sixty day jail sentence, and that sentence cannot be suspended.
Defending Cases of Operating with License Suspended for OUI
There are two common mistakes that prosecutors make on cases of driving on a license suspended for OUI. The first is that police frequently bring this charge thinking that someone's license is suspended for OUI, when it is actually suspended for something else. There are any number of reasons that someone charged with an OUI offense might have their license suspended, such as refusing or failing a breathalyzer. Frequently, even the driver doesn't even know exactly which suspension on his or her license is in effect.
The fact is, the reason for the suspension matters, and police often do not look carefully enough before they bring out the charge.
The second common mistake that prosecutors make has to do with actually proving the offense in court. In recent years, the Supreme Court has held that certain records are not admissible in court without live testimony. The law in Massachusetts is unclear, at the moment, as to how the records that the District Attorney's Office must rely on to prove the offense of driving with a license suspended for OUI can be admitted. Complications in the law sometimes work to the benefit of the defendant, and in this case, the confusion in this area could be used to get this mandatory minimum charge thrown out.
If you or someone you know has been charged with OUI, contact me now to set up a free and confidential consultation.
See: Driving Under the Influence; G.L. c. 90 s. 24; License Suspensions;