What Are the Penalties of Multiple OUI Convictions?

When Does DUI Become A Felony?

The Massachusetts law prosecutes multiple OUI offenders much more harshly than first time offenders. In 2005, Melanie's Law was passed to amplify the sanctions and penalties for OUI offenders with previous convictions. This law established a lifetime look-back for OUI offenses, permitting all prior OUI convictions to be considered when charging the level of the offense, regardless of how long ago the conviction occurred. Penalties will increase based upon any prior OUI conviction.

What DUI Charges Constitute a Felony?

Generally, a DUI charge may involve a felony offense if the individual has had more than two DUI convictions in the past. Because Massachusetts has a lifetime look-back, a judge may look at any part of an individual's criminal record to consider prior DUI convictions, no matter how many years ago the conviction was. Each consecutive DUI conviction results in harsher penalties, including increased jail time, heavier fines, and longer license suspension. Three or more consecutive DUI charges may become a felony, even if no accidents or injuries were involved.

DUI Accidents Involving Serious and Fatal Injuries

In addition to consecutive DUI convictions,DUI accidents where an individual sustained serious or fatal injuries are often charged as a felony offense. If you were arrested for DUI in relation to an accident where another individual was killed or suffered serious bodily injury, you should prepare to defend yourself against a felony DUI charge. This is also the case where an individual fled the scene of an accident.

License suspension for more than 8 years

A felony DUI charge may result in the following:

  • License suspension for more than 8 years
  • Fines ranging from $15,000 to $50,000
  • Up to 2 ½ years in jail and 5 years in prison
  • Revocation of vehicle registration
  • Forfeiture of your motor vehicle


Dealing with an OUI is emotional and frightening, but an experienced defense lawyer may be able to help. Our firm has dedicated its practice to defending clients against OUI charges for numerous years, and we can use our understanding of the Massachusetts law to ensure that your rights are protected. We examine every area of your case to determine your options and help you decide on the best defense strategy for your situation.

Offense Charged:
Fines: License Suspension: Jail Time: Ignition Interlock Device: Possible Felony?
First $500-$50k 45 days to 1 year;
hardship license possible
N/A If you fled the scene.
If another person is seriously
injured or killed.
Second $600- $10k 2 years; hardship license
possible after 1 year
House of Corrections
30 days to 2.5 years
Mandatory upon hardship
license or reinstatement, for
at least 2 years
If you fled the scene.
If another person is
seriously injured or killed
Third $1k- $15k License suspension of
8 years; hardship license
possible after 4 years
House of Corrections
150 days to 2.5 years
Mandatory upon hardship
license or reinstatement, for
at least 2 years
Felony without accident or
injury.
If you fled the scene.
If another person is seriously
injured or killed.
Fourth $1.5k-$25k License suspension of 10
years; hardship license
possible after 8 years.
House of Corrections
1-2.5 years; OR
State prison up to 5
years
Mandatory upon hardship
license or reinstatement,
for at least 2 years
Felony without accident
or injury.
If you fled the scene.
If another person is seriously
injured or killed.
Fifth and Higher $2k-$50k Lifetime license suspencion
with no possibility of
hardship license
2-5 years in State
Prison
N/A Felony without accident or
injury.
If you fled the scene.
If another person is seriously
injured or killed.

Charged with a Felony DUI? Contact a Massachusetts OUI Attorney Today!

When your personal freedoms are at risk, it is imperative that you choose a legal representative who will be your aggressive advocate in court. If you were previously convicted of operating under the influence, it is absolutely imperative that you enlist the support of an experienced Massachusetts multiple OUI lawyer. Our team has dedicated a large part of our practice to defending individuals charged with drunk driving offenses, which means we have detailed knowledge of how the legal process works. We work with you on a personal level to create a comprehensive defense for your case, and support and guide you throughout the entire proceedings. Do not leave your freedoms to chance; hire a lawyer who will fight for you!

Contact a Massachusetts multiple OUI attorney from The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. if you need a strong legal advocate to represent your multiple DUI case. Trust your case to us!