What Is a CWOF?
A continuation without a finding (CWOF) essentially means that you have agreed to take responsibility for your OUI charge and have agreed to be placed on probation for a certain amount of time pursuant to G.L. c. 90 Sec. 24D. Upon completion of meeting your terms of probation, your case will be dismissed. The terms of probation may be different for each individual and depend on the level of an OUI offense, but generally include:
- Paying fines and fees;
- Attending a Driver Alcohol Education Program (DAEP) for a first offense, or a two week inpatient treatment program for a second offense;
- A loss of license
A CWOF does mean you are accepting responsibility for your OUI charge but your case will be dismissed if you meet the terms of your probation. If you violate your terms of probation, you will have a violation of probation hearing where you could potentially be found guilty for your OUI charge. If you do retain the Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard's services, we will assist you during this violation of probation hearing and fight for you to have your violation dismissed.
If I have a CWOF, will the RMV see my case?
Yes. If you have a case that has been continued without a finding, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will still treat that as an OUI offense. For many cases, citizens that are charged with an OUI-Liquor, First Offense, their case is continued without a finding. They still are treated as a first offense through the Registry of Motor Vehicles which will trigger a loss of license of at least 45 days and up to 90 days. However, you may be eligible for a hardship license for that time.
If I have a CWOF and get another OUI, will I still be treated as a first offender?
No. If you had an OUI charge in the past and it was CWOFed, you will be treated as a second offender. This is the same for if you had two CWOFs in the past, you will be treated as a third offender and so on. It is important to keep this in mind when considering the possibility of taking this plea.
Will a CWOF appear on a CORI?
For the majority of employers, when they conduct a background check your case will not appear. With that being said, some employers will have access to a higher level of a background check that is different than most employers. In this case, there is a possibility they are able to see it. Ultimately, it depends on the level of the company.
When applying for jobs, if you are approached with the following question: "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" You are able to honestly say no, you have not. Although you have been arrested still, you have not been convicted of a crime after your probation terms of the CWOF have ended.
Is a CWOF the best resolution for my case?
Attorney Bernard is not a lawyer who will decide you should take a CWOF in a robotic manner without reviewing every aspect of your case first. The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard will review your police report, booking video, and any other material that would be relevant and helpful to your case. Honesty is a quality that we hold to a higher standard and will be truthful about what the best option is for you. Attorney Bernard will explain the pros and cons of a CWOF versus trial and you will be able to make an educated decision on how you want to proceed.
If you have been charged with an OUI, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard. We can schedule you for an appointment with Attorney Bernard to discuss your case and he will be able to walk you through the process.