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Massachusetts DUI Law Information

Drivers convicted of OUI in Massachusetts face severe fines and penalties.

Misdemeanor DUI Statute of Limitations by State

What is the purpose of DUI statutes of limitations?

On DUI prosecutions, there are statutes of limitation which are designed to prevent "stale" prosecutions, meaning that the State in which you are charged has specific limitations on how long to wait in prosecuting, expunging, or delaying your particular case. Each State has established their own rules and limits that are dependent upon the degree of drunk driving violation, or on the possible sentences for the violations. The purpose of these statutes is to protect you from extended charges being filed against you after a certain length of time. These statutes cannot help you, however, if you have already had charges filed agains you in court. Once a court has officially charged you, if you choose to not show up to accept the charges the court will issue a bench warrent for your arrest and force you to be present to accept the charges, either by turning yourself in or through forced arrest. If you believe you have had a bench warrent sent out against you, it is in your best interest to hire a professtional and experienced DUI lawyer to help assist you in your process. They will understand your particular needs, determin if your case warrents an expungment, and provide wisdom in the steps necessary to navgate the complicated tasks ahead. Failing to appear will only severely complicate your changes of gaining a favorable sentencing from the judge, as the perception is that you care not for the process and are disrespecting the court directly. Being compliant will aid in your ability to possibly receive a probation sentencing from either the prosecution or the judge. 

What are misdemeanor DUI statute of limitations?

Misdemeanor DUI statutes of limitations usually allow prosecutions to be charged for up to at least one year afther the date of your first offense. However, it is important to note that due to individualy State's freedoms to establish their own limitations, and your specific case, the time period could be longer. Generally, midsemeanor statute of limitations, are restricted to first, second, or third time DUI offences without aggrivating factors such as:

  • assault charges
  • injury
  • fatality

Many states, however, will not consider flexibility on your limitations if your DUI charge is a second or third time offense. Again, this will all be determined by your particular case and rely solely on your specific State. This is just confirmation that hiring an experienced DUI attorney will be to your greatest benefit in order to expedite your process and help you unpack what this specifically looks like for you, and what to expect with your misdemeanor statute of limitations. 

(Read more: - state laws - alcohol - court - DUI Law )



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