Why Choose Kelly & Soto Law for Your OUI Offense?
As with all of our criminal defense representation, we attack every Operating Under the Influence (OUI) case with the aggressive approach you expect from a top notch defense team. In Massachusetts, a conviction for OUI carries hefty financial penalties, possible incarceration, loss of license, possible loss of employment, and many other stressful and straining consequences. If you or someone you know had been charged with OUI, they have a choice of which firm to hire for their criminal defense. The right choice is to call Kelly & Soto Law.
What is OUI?
OUI stands for Operating Under the Influence. It is a crime by which an individual operates a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of greater than .08. One may also be convicted of OUI if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they operated a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.
For a look at the full statute for OUI, see the Massachusetts Legislature’s site.
How Do the Police and the Prosecution Prove that Someone was Driving Under the Influence?
When the police suspect that someone is OUI, they can conduct a lawful motor vehicle stop in order to confirm or dispel their suspicion. Many factors the police use in determining whether or not an individual is OUI, is to observe their physical movements, speech, and any smell of alcohol or drugs (such as burnt marijuana or crack). The police will also note the driver’s movements and the manner in which they operated the motor vehicle.
Other means by which police detect whether a suspect is under the influence is by conducting field sobriety tests and causing the suspect to submit to an on scene breath test. The police may also use a suspects statements as evidence of OUI.
What is a Breath Test?
A breath test is a method by which police attempt to measure the BAC of a suspect by causing them to breath into a small apparatus at the scene of the alleged OUI. This test is typically done at the location where police have effectuated their motor vehicle stop.
What is a Field Sobriety Test?
A field sobriety test is a series of “performance tests” administered to individuals suspected of OUI. The following is a list and brief description of each “performance test.”
- Walk and Turn Test – This a test by which the police office gauges an individual’s ability to balance and process directions. During this test the administering officer will request the suspect to place his or her left foot on a line and then require that person to walk down the line, heel to toe. The officer will give a specific, wordy set of instructions and then observe the suspects ability to 1. follow instructions, and 2. perform the act of walking heel to toe.
- One Leg Stand – In this test, an individual must stand with his or her feet together, arms at their side, and then raise either leg six inches above the ground with their foot pointing outward. The individual must then count until they are asked to stop, typically 30 seconds. Throughout this test, police are looking for any swaying, hopping, balancing off of another object, or dropping of the elevated foot.
- Horizontal Nystagmus Test – During this test the administering officer is attempting to observe a lack of smooth eye movement from side to side, behavior that is indicative of alcohol consumption. The officer will hold an object such as a pen 12-15 inches from a suspects face and move it in a horizontal motion, looking for any erratic or jerky eye movement or any lack of smooth pursuit by the suspect’s eyes.
- Other tests sometimes administered require a suspect to count backwards from a certain number, recite the alphabet backwards, or touch their finger to their nose.
How Do I Defend Against a Failed Sobriety Test?
The police have a set of standards by which they must administer these tests. If they deviate from these standards, then such deviations cold render the results not credible. Other ways to combat the field sobriety test is to determine the circumstances surrounding field sobriety test. Was the suspect taking any medication that could have impeded his or her ability to successfully complete any of the tests? Does the suspect suffer from a medical condition that could have affected the same? Were the tests performed on flat smooth ground, or were they performed on a hill? Was it unreasonably cold outside? What were the weather conditions? Was the individual overweight?
These are all factors in considering the legitimacy and accuracy of field sobriety test results. And these are the facts and circumstances that Kelly & Soto Law use to determine your innocence when confronting an OUI charge.
Our attorneys are available 24/7 and will travel to you. We would also be pleased to offer you a free case consultation and price quote.
Call us at 617.807.0840. Our office is located in the heart of Boston’s Government Center and we serve all of Massachusetts. Give us a call today and ask to speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys.
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