DUI Legal Process in MA, From Start to Finish (Not Guilty Plea)


A police officer pulls you over, asks you to complete a field sobriety test, and arrests you for drunk driving. The officer then brings you back to the police station where you are fingerprinted and booked.


This is your first appearance in court. It is generally held within a few days of your arrest. This is where you will be read the charges against you and given the opportunity to plead not guilty.


This is the point in the process where we sit down with the prosecutor and see what he/she wants to offer us for a plea deal. From there, we can either choose to take the deal or keep the not guilty plea and continue with the trial. If no plea deal is reached, this is where we start the discovery process.


If I think your constitutional rights may have been violated, I will file a motion to suppress the evidence against you. At the hearing for this motion, I will talk to the arresting officer on the record about why he thought you were driving drunk. If it sounds like his procedure for determining your level of intoxication violated your constitutional rights, I may be able to get that evidence excluded from the trial.


This usually takes place in district court in front of a jury of 6 people, but we also have the option of having a trial in front of just the judge. This is where the prosecution presents their case against you and we present your defense. If we win, this is where the case ends.


If we lose, we move onto sentencing. The judge may impose a combination of jail time, fines, alcohol education classes, or community service.

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