In Massachusetts, if your DUI / OUI caused a bodily injury to another, you are faced with a number of harsh realities.
If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and collide with another vehicle or pedestrian, or if the accident injured a passenger in your vehicle, you will be facing misdemeanor or felony OUI – Serious Bodily Injury charges.
When is a DUI / OUI with Serious Bodily Injury a Felony?
A drunk driving accident with serious bodily injury is charged and sentenced as a felony OUI offense when the prosecution for the Commonwealth can prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that:
- You were operating the motor vehicle,
- on a public way, or a way to which the public has the right of access,
- under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- in a negligent or reckless manner, which
- caused serious bodily injury to another.
Serious bodily injury under Mass General Laws is defined as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or that involves either total disability or the loss or significant impairment of some bodily function for a substantial period of time.
If the prosecution is able to prove all of the above except for the negligence or recklessness, then you will ultimately be charged with misdemeanor OUI with Serious Bodily Injury.
DUI / OUI with Serious Bodily Injury Penalties in Massachusetts
The penalties for OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury at the felony level require a mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail, and up to 10 years in state prison. A felony sentence also carries up to a $5,000 fine.
If convicted under misdemeanor OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury, the penalties include up to 2.5 years in jail, or up to a $3,000 fine, or both jail time and the fine.
The significant difference in sentencing between a felony and misdemeanor is that OUI with Serious Injury at the misdemeanor level does not carry a mandatory minimum jail term.
A conviction under either felony or misdemeanor OUI/DUI with Serious Bodily Injury will result in the loss of your driver’s license for 2 years.
What should I do after an OUI with Injury arrest?
First, do not talk to anyone about anything relating to the incident. Feelings of guilt and anxiety often lead to incriminating statements. Try to suppress the urge to talk more than is absolutely necessary at the scene and with any one who is not your attorney.
Next, hire an experienced OUI attorney who can defend you against the serious consequences and penalties of an OUI/DUI with bodily injury conviction.
A smart and capable DUI attorney will approach your defense on two fronts:
(1) Discrediting any impairment or BAC evidence that led to the OUI charge,
(2) Investigating the accident for findings that you were not negligent, and/or that someone else was at least partly responsible.
Hiring a forensic scientist-lawyer in an OUI with Injury case can provide significant advantages toward your defense. Even during evaluation, a specialized forensics attorney can identify all possible strategies and give you a clear understanding of your best options.
Attorney Greg Oberhauser is the only criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts who is a certified Forensic Scientist-Lawyer.
Call Oberhauser Law now to schedule a consultation about your case with Attorney Greg Oberhauser: