DUI

Massachusetts DUI/OUI/DWI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts, it is essential to retain an experienced OUI defense attorney like Kathleen McCarthy. Massachusetts, like many other states, takes a tough stance when it comes to drunk driving, and you will need a tough lawyer to act as your voice and your guide.

All OUI charges are serious, and the consequences could be license suspension, probationary periods, alcohol programs, fines, fees, and much more. For certain repeat OUI offenders, the consequences could well entail jail time (or even mandatory jail time).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Difference Between Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drunk Driving?

No! In Massachusetts, if a driver is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, he or she is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol—not drunk driving. There is no such charge as “drunk driving” in Massachusetts. The reason is simple. To be charged with or convicted of this type of offense, the driver does not have to be drunk but only “under the influence.” In fact, the Massachusetts Jury Instruction tells the jury that a person does not have to be drunk. Simply put, the Commonwealth has to prove that the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was impaired by alcohol.

What Does the Government Have to Prove to Secure a Conviction?

In order to get a conviction for this type of offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant was operating the car;
  2. The defendant was under the influence of alcohol;
  3. The defendant was operating the car on a public way.

The most litigated element is whether the driver was “under the influence.” However, the other two elements are frequently issues at trial. For example, “operation” of the car is not just simply driving the car down the road. Depending on the circumstances simply having the key in the ignition and listening the radio or having the heat on is considered “operation” in Massachusetts.

In order to prove the “public way” element, the government must prove that the “operation” of the vehicle took place on a way in which the public has access or the right to access. Thus, store parking lots are considered public ways. The Commonwealth generally elicits testimony that the roads were paved where the defendant was pulled over, that there were streetlights, that there were marked lines and/or that the way was maintained by the town or city. The typical areas that are NOT considered public ways would be driveways or garages. Of course, an experienced OUI trial attorney always focuses on this element as it is often overlooked by prosecutors focusing on the other two factors that must be proved. If the prosecutor fails to get the necessary information describing the way from the witness then a motion for a required finding should be requested and should be allowed if the Commonwealth failed to meet its burden on this element of the crime.

Aggressive Defense to Meet Clients’ Individual Needs

OUI clients come from all walks of life. All kinds of people find themselves accused of drunk driving, and Attorney McCarthy tailors her approach to OUI defense to her clients’ unique needs. Some may want to exercise their trial rights and fight the case until the end. In such circumstances, the aggressive representation of an experienced trial lawyer like Kathleen M. McCarthy becomes absolutely invaluable. Others may want a swift resolution to their cases so that they can get a hardship license and get back on the road. In those circumstances, Kathleen McCarthy can use her superior negotiating skills and make sure that the resolution is handled as fairly and promptly as possible. She can also help obtain a hardship or “Cinderella” license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Many clients will have needs and wishes somewhere in between these two opposites, and Kathleen McCarthy adapts her representation accordingly, providing the best possible advice.

Experienced Criminal OUI Lawyer, Proven Results

Attorney McCarthy’s ability to provide outstanding advice and representation is the product of many years of experience. For more than 25 years, she has been successfully handling OUI/DUI/DWI cases from both sides of the courtroom. For good reason, she is recognized as one of the best and brightest OUI lawyers in Massachusetts. Kathleen McCarthy’s case results serve as support for her first-rate reputation. Attorney McCarthy handles DUI/OUI/DWI cases in every city and town in the state, so call her no matter your location.

Law Offices of Kathleen M. McCarthy (978) 975 8060

If you have been charged with OUI/DUI/DWI in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Kathleen M. McCarthy at (978) 975 8060 or send Attorney McCarthy an e-mail message. Initial consultations are free and confidential. She encourages calls and communication 24 hours a day and 7 days a week because the importance of immediate attorney consultation cannot be emphasized enough. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better protected you will be. Kathleen M. McCarthy has offices in two locations. One office is located in downtown Boston on Congress Street. Another is located in North Andover on Sutton Street. No matter where you are, you can easily reach one of her offices for an informative and reassuring visit. Take your OUI charge seriously and contact an excellent OUI lawyer right away.

The following links provide additional information on operating under the influence in Massachusetts.

Case Results » DUI
  • Client Avoids Drunk Driving Conviction

    A State Trooper's attention was drawn to a car that was traveling on two flat tires. Upon pulling the vehicle over he noticed that the operator had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and slurred his speech. The driver agreed to participate in field sobriety tests and unfortunately, in the Trooper's opinion; he did not pass the tests. The out of state driver was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol [M.G.L. Chapter 90 section 24].

    The District Attorney's Office took an aggressive stance due to the facts of the case. The out of state client needed the case resolved without a conviction to ensure he could travel in and out of the United States without restrictions. Our office aggressively represented our client and the judge agreed to continue the case for a year and provided client satisfies certain conditions the case will be dismissed.

    Read More in Defenses to Crimes in Massachusetts

  • Clerk Denies Application For Complaint For Operating Under The Influence Of Alcohol

    Following a one car accident, the driver landed in the hospital. Pedestrians claimed the car appeared to be driven erratically before the crash. Based on witness interviews the defendant was summonsed to court for a clerk-magistrate's hearing for the charge of operating under the influence of alcohol. [M.G.L. ch. 90 Section 24 (1) (a) (1)]. Fortunately, the concerned defendant called our office immediately and we went to work and prepared for the hearing.

    During the hearing the police prosecutor presented the facts as they appeared in the police report. Based on our investigation of the accident coupled with medical information that was attained prior to the hearing our office made a very strong case that there was absolutely NO evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. The clerk agreed and the complaint did not issues against the driver.

    Read more in DUI defense

  • Despite Difficult Facts Client Evades Conviction For Negligent Operation Of A Motor Vehicle And Operating Under The Influence Of Alcohol

    The police responded to a motor vehicle after receiving calls from concerned motorists relative to a wayward driver who was driving off of the road without the car's headlights on. Concerned citizens reported that the driver of the car appeared "drunk" and the police alleged to have smelled a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from the driver.

    After speaking to the witnesses the police arrested the driver who was charged with operating under the influence of liquor [M.G.L. ch. 90 Section 24 (1) (a) (1)] and negligent operation of a motor vehicle [M.G.L. ch. 90 Section 24 (2) (a)].

    Our office investigated the facts surrounding the incident and interviewed the involved parties at length. Although the facts were difficult for the client and the Commonwealth's recommendation was harsh following our allocution relative to the defendant's background the judge adopted our sentencing recommendation. The client received a straight dismissal of the criminal charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and the operating under the influence of alcohol will be dismissed provided certain conditions are satisfied. Despite strong facts for the prosecution, the client walked out of the courthouse without ANY criminal conviction.

    Read More in Continuance Without a Finding

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog - OUI/DWI