March 19, 2020
Frequently, clients want to plead guilty to an OUI and move on. They may think it was an unfair stop but are not feeling passionate about the fight ahead and would rather put it behind them. We generally advise against this – at least until we’ve had a chance to review and evaluate all the evidence. Learn more about what happens if you are stopped for an OUI.
OUI has lasting consequences in your life. A few years ago, the law was changed from a 10 year lookback to a lifetime lookback. This means that an OUI never disappears from your record. For example, you could have had a couple of OUIs in your twenties but now you are in your sixties and have spent decades being safe, smart and careful. If you get stopped for an OUI now, you are looking at your third OUI offense, which comes with felony charges and, if found guilty, mandatory jail time of 150 days.
Whatever your circumstances, we always recommend politely refusing the field sobriety test as well as the breathalyzer test. Refusal is not admissible in court. In Massachusetts, the police do not offer a blood test and will not take you to a facility to have one, but it is your right to do so and if you indicate that you want a blood test, they must book you quickly so that they do not impede your ability to get one. Read more about our recommendations here.
We urge you not to drink and drive. Have a plan before you go out if you know you will be drinking. Have an emergency plan if you find yourself at a celebration at the last minute. If you do decide to drink and drive have our number in your contacts. Contant Law call or text us (617) 227-8383.
Put Contant in your contacts.
March 5, 2020
Spring Break is right around the corner. If your young adults are headed off to a warm and sunny beach for a week of revelry with their friends, be sure to remind them of important pitfalls they need to avoid on their holiday.
Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is a crime everywhere. The penalties vary from state to state and country to country, but there are no light sentences for OUI anymore. Furthermore, if you get in trouble far from home you will have to go back to plead your case. That’s time and money out of your life to travel there and get legal help there. It’s just not worth the risk or the hassle. Ride shares are easily arranged and are an inexpensive option to get where you need to go.
Cell Phone Use
In February 2020, Massachusetts made hands-free only cell phone use the law. Cell phone laws do vary by state, but more and more states have laws on the books about cell phone use. Texting is prohibited in 48 states and in 20 states hand-held cell phone use is banned for all drivers. In most states there are additional laws in place for drivers under 21. Know the laws where you are going and just be smart and put the phone down.
Not Every Thing is Legal Everywhere
Laws surrounding marijuana vary by state, as well. If you are over 21 you may very well have legally purchased it, but if you get on a plane with pot – in any form – you are committing a federal crime and you run a high risk of being stopped. If you are driving to your destination you may be driving through states where it is also a crime to be in possession. The wise choice is to leave it at home.
What Happens on Spring Break Doesn’t Always Stay There
Everyone knows that alcohol can fuel poor choices. Booze, the beach and a sense of freedom and revelry during a break from the routine can sometimes lead college students to impulsive choices about sex. Unwanted sexual advances or sexual acts can result in life-changing accusations when you get back to college. In addition to preventing gender-based discrimination on college campuses, Title IX also addresses sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances and sexual violence. Thinking about the choices you make before you act on them could save you from being accused of a Title IX violation once you get back to college.
The college years should be fun. Making sure that they stay that way can be as simple as reminding your young adults about these pitfalls so they don’t end up in trouble.
If you or a family member do find themselves in trouble with the law, get legal help immediately. Call or text Contant Law at 617-227-8383.