When you are released from custody after your OUI or DWI arrest your next appearance before the court will be for your arraignment. In defending this type of case, you have the same rights as anyone else charged with a crime. One of the most important of these rights is to have a lawyer of your choosing represent you. You can hire your own lawyer. However, if you cannot afford to hire your own lawyer the Court can appoint one to represent you. It is important to have a good lawyer, who can help you navigate this complicated process and obtain the best result.

Is Someone Ever Required to Get an Ignition Interlock Device Prior to the First Court Date?

No. It would not apply before a first court date for anyone to get an ignition interlock device in his or her car. In Massachusetts, it is typically only after a conviction and not usually for a first offense.

Will I Have a Court Appearance Within the First Month of the OUI Arrest?

Yes. After your arrest, you will usually go to court the next business day that the court is in session. This will be for your initial appearance in front of the judge, which is called an arraignment. At the arraignment there will be a formal reading of the charges against you. A “not guilty” plea is entered. The judge will then need to decide whether you should be released while your case is pending with no bail (called personal recognizance); some bail; and/or some conditions, like remaining alcohol free or meeting with a probation officer.

How Often Should I Meet with My Attorney In the First 30 Days After an OUI Arrest?

In the very beginning, your attorney should conduct a long meeting to get as much of the information as possible while it is fresh in your mind. Oftentimes we will also visit the scene of the arrest with the client within the first week or two after the arrest. This allows us to examine and photograph the area for defects and other conditions in the roadway where the person was arrested and asked to do field sobriety tests. For example, if the police had the person do a balance type field sobriety test in the roadway, it would be important to know exactly where that test took place. If the area is not level or has other defects that can call into question the result of that field sobriety test it could impact our defense. After these initial meetings, we typically meet with the client either in person, or over the phone to discuss the ongoing developments of the case. As important information or events come up, we will need to either update the client or need their input on these issues. Usually, before each court date, we will have additional meetings.

Would Someone Ever Have to See a Pre-Trial Probation Officer In an OUI Case?

Yes, some folks will have to see a pre-trial probation officer in an OUI case. At the arraignment (first court appearance) the judge has to make certain decisions. One of those decisions is whether you should have to submit to certain conditions of release while your case is pending. One of the more common conditions in OUI/DWI cases is requiring you to remain drug and alcohol free while the case is pending. You would have to submit to random breath, blood, or urine testing to prove that they are not drinking or using drugs. Oftentimes, you will also be required to meet regularly with a probation officer. This is all pre-trial while the case is pending, just to make sure you are doing what you are supposed to.

At What Point Should Someone Contact an Attorney In an OUI Case?

You should request to speak with an attorney immediately. That decision can have a couple of different effects on your case. Once you are arrested, to the extent possible, you should not talk to the police; immediately ask for an attorney, and do not agree to answer any questions. That is going to keep the police from speaking to you and asking you questions about what you were doing, if you were drinking and how much, etc. They are not allowed to ask you questions once you ask for an attorney and you let them know that you do not wish to speak with them. It is important that you do not take the breathalyzer test in most cases. However, the police are not required to let you take the time to find and speak with an attorney prior to deciding whether you want to take the breathalyzer test.

How Do I Find Out Where a Loved One Has Been Taken After an OUI Arrest?

If you know the city or town in which your loved one was arrested and which police department (i.e., local police or State Police) arrested them, it is not difficult to find out where they are. They will either be at the local police department or State Police barracks serving that town or area. Most people do not know that their friend or family member was arrested until they receive that call from the friend, family member, or the police telling them of the arrest. You will go to the police station if you are going to try to bail them out. If you cannot bail them out that day or evening, you can meet them in court the next day. The court they will be brought to will also depend on the city or town where the arrest took place. Courthouses are separated by region and each serves certain cities, and towns. Once you know where they were arrested, is it easy to go online and find out which courthouse will hear the case.

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