As a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney specializing in OUI/DUI/DWI, my representation of a client usually does not end in court. Whether working out a deal for my client, or going the distance and beating the case entirely, there are often collateral consequences of the arrest. If my client refused to take the breathalyzer, then even after an acquittal I may have to assist him or her through the process of license reinstatement, which may become very complicated depending on the person’s previous record and circumstances. In advising my client, I always have to consider the potential collateral consequences based on his or her personal circumstances, including occupation, school enrollment, professional licenses, and immigration status. The collateral consequences of a Guilty verdict or a Continuance Without a Finding can be even more severe than the court’s penalties.
Yesterday, I read about one example of these collateral consequences. A middle school principal, Misty McBrierty, resigned after being arrested in Massachusetts for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. Government employees, politicians, and those entrusted with educating or working with our youth are often held to a higher standard of conduct, as their public image is a vital part of their employment. A relatively minor offense, such as an OUI charge, can cost someone his or her job; even before that person’s “day in court.” While Ms. McBrierty chose to step down before having her day in court, her swift action demonstrates how the negative publicity associated with an OUI arrest can be enough to cost a person his or her livelihood.
If you have been arrested for OUI or any other criminal charge in Massachusetts, it is important to contact an attorney who understands the importance of your personal situation and how you may face more consequences than just those in criminal court. Contact my office for your free consultation.
Law Offices of Benjamin P. Urbelis, P.C.
1211 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02134
P: (617) 206-4828
F: (617) 507-8188