The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has some of the strictest drunk driving laws of any state in the country. If you are charged with DUI and you go to court without the help of an experienced OUI/DUI Lawyer, your DUI conviction will be on your record forever.
Understand that two levels of records are involved with DUI charges. The first level is your driving record. A DUI conviction on your driving record will be reported to your insurance company, your prospective employers, and other agencies for at least ten years. If you have no subsequent DUI convictions, you can petition to have the DUI conviction removed from your driving record after ten years. If, however, you have a second or third DUI conviction within the ten-year period after your first conviction, your petition will have little or no chance of being granted. If you receive another DUI conviction after your first conviction is removed from your record, that latter conviction will always be deemed to be a second offense, regardless of the removal of the first conviction.
Your criminal record is a different situation. Unless a criminal conviction is expunged (which involves a process that can stretch over several years and that can cost you thousands of dollars), you will have a DUI criminal record forever. The only potential exception is if your DUI conviction occurred before your 18th birthday, in which case you can request destruction of your criminal convictions that occurred when you were a minor. There is no guarantee that your request will be granted.
In some cases, particularly if the DUI charge is a first offense, an experienced OUI/DUI lawyer can argue the charges back to "wet reckless" or reckless driving. If your case goes to trial, your attorney can also attempt to convince the prosecutor and the court to grant a continuance without a ruling. The continuance is the equivalent of a "no plea" deal. If you have a subsequent run-in with the law, however, the continuance will be treated as a criminal conviction.
The long-term adverse effects of a DUI conviction can be ruinous to your finances, your career, and your personal life. Please contact us if you have been charged with a DUI offense in Massachusetts. We will review your options and take whatever steps may be possible to reduce the severity of those charges and to protect your future opportunities.