If you’re arrested for operating under the influence (OUI) in Massachusetts, you face serious consequences. Both your driving record and your criminal record are on the line, so it’s important that you obtain legal guidance as soon as possible if you’re detained by police. Here’s what you need to know about how long an OUI stays on your record and how to get the help you need after an arrest.
The Impact of an OUI on Your Driving Record
Massachusetts law enforcement have a no-tolerance policy for operating under the influence, and if you’re arrested, the violation can stay on your driving record for ten years. This means that well after you’ve satisfied the court’s requirements for your OUI, you’ll be dealing with the consequences of being turned down jobs or having to explain the violation to your employer.
The Impact of an OUI on Your Criminal Record
It’s possible that an OUI can remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life, especially if you did not enter into a pre-trial diversion or probationary program prior to your trial. If you accept a “24D probation” under Mass.Gen.Laws ch.90§24D, your case is CWF, or continued without finding, until you have successfully completed the program. Typically, once you complete your probation, your case is dismissed.
Probation or pre-trial diversion programs are often only offered to first-time offenders, or perhaps second-time offenders who have many years in between offenses. They’re at the discretion of the judge presiding over the case, and may not be offered in situations where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious (such as causing an accident that resulted in someone’s death) or when the defendant has been convicted of multiple OUI offenses in the past.
Can an OUI Be Expunged in Massachusetts?
Expungements for OUIs in Massachusetts, where all records related to the OUI are destroyed, are rare. Typically, a defendant is only eligible for an expungement if someone steals their identity and receives an OUI, or in juvenile criminal cases where there is a lack of evidence. However, records can be sealed, which limits the information parties are able to access.
Contact Us Today
If you’ve been arrested for an OUI, don’t wait to seek legal advice. Avoiding a conviction when possible is the best strategy for keeping an OUI off your record, and we can help. Contact us today for a consultation at (413) 737-9700.