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When does an OUI become a felony in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | OUI/DWI |

Operating Under the Influence (OUI) charges can have serious consequences in Massachusetts. Understanding when an OUI becomes a felony is helpful for anyone facing such charges.

Repeat offenses

In Massachusetts, an OUI charge becomes a felony if it is your third offense or more. The state takes repeat offenses seriously, and the penalties increase with each conviction. A third OUI offense can result in significant fines, longer license suspension, and mandatory jail time.

Causing injury or death

An OUI charge escalates to a felony if it involves causing serious injury or death. If you operate a vehicle under the influence and cause an accident that results in injury or death, you will face felony charges. These charges come with severe penalties, including long prison sentences and substantial fines.

Child endangerment

Driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle also elevates an OUI to a felony. The state’s laws impose stricter penalties to protect children from the dangers of impaired driving. If authorities catch you driving under the influence with a minor in the car, you will face felony charges and harsher penalties.

Prior felony OUI conviction

Authorities will treat any subsequent OUI charges as felonies if you have a previous felony OUI conviction. The state imposes stricter penalties on those with a history of serious OUI offenses. OUI policies and penalties are strict even for those without priors.

Understanding the severity of felony OUI charges

Understanding these factors can help you navigate the legal system more effectively. Stay informed and take these charges seriously to avoid severe penalties and long-term consequences.