The bad news for First Time Offenders, is that even with a successful completion of probation, this First Time Offense (even though it shows up as dismissed on your record) is considered to be a Second Offense if you are charged arrested again for Operating Under the Influence, pursuant to Melanie’s Law. Furthermore, if you do not complete your probationary period successfully your Continuance Without a Finding can be turned into a Guilty Finding, and you could potentially face 2 ½ years in Jail.
This is why it is important to hire an attorney who can aggressively and zealously advocate on your behalf. What most people do not realize is that DUI/OUI Charges can be litigated successfully, by an experienced attorney. Police Officers have to abide by the Constitution and need to have “probable cause” in order to pull your vehicle over in the first place. Secondly, Police need to have a legitimate reason to ask you to get out of your vehicle and issue you an “exit order.” If Police Officers violate your rights in anyway, a Motion to Suppress can be filed and if allowed by the Court, all of the evidence may be suppressed and your case dismissed.
Just because you failed a couple of Field Sobriety Tests, does not mean that you will be found guilty by a Jury. Field Sobriety Tests are designed in such a manner so that it is easy for people to fail them, even if they are not intoxicated. Police Officers are trained to look for certain clues of impairment. Oftentimes, what may be interpreted as a clue of impairment to a Police Officer is later seen by a Jury to be nervousness or unfamiliarity with the test. Remember, most Field Sobriety Tests take place at nighttime, in a poorly lit area, while you are on the side of the road attempting tests that you have never done before, while traffic is zipping by you. What a Police Officer may interpret as a failing score can usually be explained by being nervous, tired, injured, overweight or unfamiliar. A careful and thorough cross examination of the Arresting Police Officer can usually shed light on why you may not have passed the Field Sobriety Tests.
If you find yourself charged with DUI/OUI, please contact Attorney Paul R. Moraski at 1-978-744-1200.
221 Essex Street, Suite 51
Salem, Massachusetts 01970