Operating under the influence (OUI) is a common criminal offense in Massachusetts. Someone arrested for impaired driving will have to go to court and face consequences if convicted that include time in jail and fines. They will also have to deal with the mandatory suspension of their license.
While pleading guilty to an OUI offense can sometimes mean avoiding jail time, it won’t stop the state from suspending your license. Not being able to drive can cause all kinds of issues. Public transportation may not be reliable enough for you to get to work on time.
You could have job responsibilities or courses with schedules that make public transportation an ineffective solution. You might even have a child or dependent family member who relies on you for transportation to their school or health care appointments. Can you ever keep your license after an OUI conviction?
Massachusetts does issue hardship licenses
Driving is almost necessary for many modern families. Individuals living on their own and those with others that depend on them may need their own transportation. Losing your license because of an OUI conviction could affect your job, your education or even your health.
If you face serious hardship because of the loss of your license, Massachusetts may let you apply for a limited, hardship license. If your recent conviction was your first OUI charge, an applicant who can demonstrate hardship could secure a hardship license. Employment demands, educational needs or medical issues will require documentation to convince the courts that an individual must drive for one reason or another.
For those with previous OUIs on their records, they will only qualify for a hardship license if they abide by the minimum set for their suspension period. Additionally, a driver with previous OUIs will need to complete alcohol treatment before requesting a hardship license and will need to participate in the ignition interlock device (IID) program while driving with a hardship license.
Fighting back against an OUI can also protect your license
You don’t have to wait until after your conviction and months of a suspended license to fight for your rights and privileges. Anyone accused of an OUI has the same right to defend themselves as those accused of more serious criminal offenses.
A successful defense against OUI charges can protect your license. Those already dealing with the consequences of a conviction or worried about a recent arrest may need to talk about how they can best protect their driving privileges.