Northampton OUI Attorney
Protecting Your Rights in an OUI Case
With over 400 jury trials and more than 25 years of experience in OUI defense, Attorney Joseph Bernard is not only proud to protect the rights of local residents, but is a firm with local attorney who is recognized across the state as an expert in OUI-Liquor and OUI-Drugs offenses. With the OUI penalties that are enforced by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, especially in a college town such as Northampton, it is vital that you seek the assistance of a proven Northampton OUI attorney. With an accomplished advocate by your side, your chances for a favorable outcome in your case are greatly improved.
For nearly two decades, our focus on OUI defense has allowed us to hone our knowledge of the law and science to best assist individuals who have been charged with this offense. At our firm, we limit the amount of cases that we defend in order to provide the highest quality representation and service to our clients. When we take your case, we are committed to putting in the time and effort needed to ensure your rights are safeguarded. We strive to produce the most favorable results possible out of difficult situations.
Our lead attorney is a leading expert in OUI defense. Attorney Bernard is a member of the National Criminal Defense Association, a former instructor at the Criminal Justice Training Center in Western Massachusetts and has tried cases in Massachusetts District Courts, Superior Courts and the United States Federal Court. In addition, Attorney Bernard is the only attorney in Massachusetts who has completed the Borkenstein Courses, founded by Robert F. Borkenstein, the inventor of the Breathalyzer. The unparalleled scientific knowledge we bring into every defense can be instrumental when it comes to negotiations to reduce the charges against you or a dismissal. It can also be vital if your case goes to trial and a jury must decide your fate.
In addition to defending the criminal case against you, we are determined advocates when it comes to important matters such as RMV hearings, driver's license restoration and vacating prior OUI convictions if you have been convicted for an OUI in the past with a breath test result.
Consequences of an OUI Conviction
Let us help you seek the best outcome to avoid the consequences of a conviction which may result in years-long hardship. OUI penalties vary based on the charges, and can range from citations on your driving record, to fees and jail time. If you are a multiple offender, the passing of Melanie's Law in 2005 makes it mandatory that your vehicle be equipped with an ignition interlock device. If you are seeking to restore your license after a suspension period, you may be required to pay for the installation of the device if you have prior OUI offenses. This requirement includes not only vehicles you own, but any that you lease or drive, including a spouse's car.
There are different consequences for your license based on whether you refuse a breath test. If you refused to take a breath or blood test, your license will be suspended for at least 180 days. Breath test failure will result in a 30-day loss of license. Further suspension may follow a conviction. Suspension length and whether or not you are eligible for a hardship license depends upon the number of OUI convictions, and ranges from one year to a lifetime. In all cases, you will have to pay fines from $500.00 to $1200.00 in order to get your driving privileges restored. Additionally, aggravated circumstances in an OUI case, such as leaving the scene or vehicular manslaughter will result in hefty fines in the thousands of dollars if you are found guilty.
Jail or prison sentences vary according to the gravity of the crime you are charged with and your record. They can range from days in jail to many years in state prison.
Fortunately, there are many proven defenses against OUI charges. Breath test results are prone to error if the devices used to take them are not properly maintained or correctly calibrated. If a breathalyzer reads on something other than ethyl alcohol, you can be falsely accused of being intoxicated. Blood samples must be correctly drawn, handled, stored and the results analyzed properly. When a blood sample becomes contaminated or fermented, the results can be inaccurate and unreliable. You should not be convicted based on this evidence, and you deserve a defense attorney who will know what to look for and hold the prosecution accountable. A knowledgeable attorney can not only help you avoid conviction, but provide you the best possible chance of dismissal.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for OUI, don't hesitate to contact a Northampton OUI attorney from our firm.
Links for Northampton Resources
Trained Breath Test Machine Operator
Attorney Joseph D. Bernard is the only lawyer in Massachusetts to have completed the breath test training conducted by the state police.
Certified Field Sobriety Test Administers
Our attorneys are certified administers of the field sobriety test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Former Assistant District Attorney
We understand OUI cases from both sides of the fence and know exactly how to defend our clients.
Unique Certification & Expertise
Attorney Joseph Bernard is the only lawyer in Massachusetts to be certified by the international acclaimed Borkenstein drug and alcohol courses.