Doug has prosecuted OUI cases as an Assistant District Attorney (1978-86), defended OUI cases as a private attorney (1986-99) and has presided as a District Court Judge in hundreds of OUI trials, both jury and non-jury. This statute is complicated and requires an attorney with specific trial experience to navigate a client through the process. As Doug explains…
“When a person is arrested for OUI and then brought to the police station, he or she may call me anytime at (508) 243-4877. I can assist that person in making his/her first critical decision, whether or not to submit to a breath test. Preemptively, it is more often prudent to refuse the breathalyzer test (not withstanding the loss of license). However, that is not always the case. Every beer or four ounce glass of wine equals .02 BAC. Our bodies naturally eliminate .02 every hour. Any test result at .05 or less is PRESUMED NOT GUILTY. Therefore, one should not always refuse a test. The test may exonerate the person and save the person from a six month mandatory suspension for the refusal.
Any arrested person needs an experienced lawyer to decide, quickly, what the historic odds of success are in trying the case versus entering a plea, as one’s license to drive is inextricably entwined in that evaluation. Many cases are worthy of trial and others have no potential for success.
The client always makes the final decision. If we, as a team, decide to try the case, the client needs a lawyer who knows how to prepare a case for trial and then actually try the case in Court. After 38 years of practicing and sitting in courtrooms, I don’t know of another lawyer who has tried and/or sat as Judge on as many OUI cases as I have.
Cases where there are no breathalyzer results tend to be better to successfully defend at trial, as the trial then becomes more dependent on opinions versus empirical evidence. Cases where a client has submitted to a breathalyzer test are more problematic if the result is .08 or higher, but there are several legal devices by which the test results may be suppressed by a judge and there is discovery cross-examination and occasional use of expert witnesses where a jury may be persuaded that the test as administered was wholly unreliable.
Every trial has risks and probabilities to evaluate. However, those factors can be managed and shifted to a client’s advantage by precise pre-trial discovery, motions to suppress, use of videotape, detailed direct and cross-examination of witnesses, potential use of an expert and the decision whether or not to try the case before a judge or jury. All of the above actions require an attorney with vast experience and commitment to his client.”
Doug can be reached anytime at (508) 243-4877, by email at email@example.com, or by visiting his office at 8E Pleasant Street, 2nd Floor, South Natick, MA.