The Court Process Serving Clients From The Berkshires to Boston

The Court Process

Massachusetts OUI Process


If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at least .08 percent – or .04 percent if you are a commercial driver – then you will be arrested for an OUI in Massachusetts. If you are younger than 21 years of age, you will face administrative penalties if your BAC is at least .02 percent.

If you failed your post-arrest chemical test, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. On the other hand, if you refused to take a chemical test, your license will be suspended for 180 days.


Following your arrest, your “arraignment” date with be scheduled. During your arraignment, your charges will be read, and you will be advised of your rights, including your right to an attorney.

Pre-Trial Conference

Within four (4) to six (6) weeks, a pre-trial conference will be held. The prosecutor will offer you a plea bargain. If you hire a lawyer, he/she will advise you to either accept or reject the deal. Additionally, your attorney may file motions for discovery of evidence and motions to suppress evidence.

Motion Hearing

At the motion hearing, your lawyer will argue how the arresting officer violated your rights during the arrest and/or chemical test process. The arresting officer has a chance to provide the reasons for pulling you over and arrest you for OUI. If law enforcement officials performed an unlawful traffic stop, your attorney may get your entire case dismissed. If the police violated your rights, this fact could strengthen your defense.


Your trial will be held in district court, either in front of a jury or a “bench trial” (e.g. judge). Your lawyer will determine which method is best suited for your case. The trial consists of opening statements, cross-examination by both sides, and closing statements, before a judge or jury determines a verdict.


Once the trial ends, the court will impose a sentence if you are convicted at trial of if you accept the plea bargain. A first OUI conviction is punishable by a maximum two-and-a-half-year jail sentence, fines of up to $5,000 (not including other fees), and driver’s license revocation for up to one year.

Lawyers Who Provide a Scientific Defense

  • 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 internationally acclaimed Borkenstein drug and alcohol courses. Attorney Bernard is also the only lawyer in Massachusetts who is a member of the American Chemical Society.

The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C.

The Pinnacle of Drunk Driving Defense

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    “I'm here to tell you as someone who went through it and knows how scary it is when you are facing that black hole and approaching the event horizon and realize that you are about to lose everything you ever knew and fought for, this is the man you want.”

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    “Listen to Atty Bernard when he gives the advice. His staff was great. Thank you, Joe, and keep up the good work.”

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    “Joe is very knowledgeable and experienced with MA DUI laws. We worked well together to come up with the best solution for my case. The outcome was what I was hoping for and could not be more pleased.”

    - Former Client
    They kept me informed step by step.

    “I was extremely confident with the representation of the firm. Their rates are reasonable, their professional and they not only handled one state but two. They clearly knew the law and I would gladly use them again if I needed it.”

    - Former Client
    I always felt respected and part of the team.

    “I was very pleased with the expertise and professionalism with which Attorney Joe Bernard managed my case. It quickly became clear to me that he has the experience and respect of his peers necessary for effective litigation. I’ll always be grateful.”

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