Cape Cod DUI Attorneys

Have you been charged with a Fourth Offense OUI?
Don't give up.

A Fourth Offense OUI can be beaten. You’re innocent until proven guilty.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with drunk driving in Massachusetts for the fourth time, you’re at risk of facing serious consequences. A conviction on a Fourth Offense OUI comes with a minimum mandatory jail sentence and a 10-year license loss. Don’t give up.

You have rights. You have options.

Many clients in your situation are worried or find themselves asking, “How could this be happening again?” This is natural, but take a deep breath and remind yourself of two things: First, you’re human. Second, every OUI charge stands on its own. Our Constitution says that you are presumed to be innocent of the charge unless and until the government proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This presumption of innocence holds true and the same for each person regardless of how many OUIs are on their record. You also won’t go into battle alone. Attorneys Milligan and Higgins are prepared to stand by your side to protect and defend your legal rights.

Our firm practices 100% DUI defense. Our experience in both defending and prosecuting Massachusetts OUI cases gives us the advantage.

Call or Text Now For A Free Case Evaluation 24/7
(617) 851-7155

Boston Office
867 Boylston Street
Suite 500
Boston MA 02116

Southshore Office
269 Hanover Street
Building One,
Hanover, MA 02339

How we handle your OUI case in the Cape will depend on your particular situation. Get to know your options and consult with an experienced Massachusetts OUI attorney before you make any decisions about how to handle your case.

Penalties For OUI Fourth Offense

The law for OUI can be somewhat complicated and difficult to read. Here’s a plain language summary derived from Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24—the Massachusetts OUI law. Should you have any questions please call or text Attorney Higgins at (508) 930-4273 or Attorney Milligan at (617) 851-7155 to get answers fast.

Fourth Offense OUI Penalties

The penalties for a fourth DUI conviction in Massachusetts include a 10-year driver’s license suspension, between $1,500 to $25,000 in fines, and 1-3 years in prison. A fourth offense is classified as a felony.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, § 24D Alternative Disposition

There is no eligibility for an alternative 24D “second chance” disposition with an OUI fourth offense. Your best bet will certainly be to retain an experienced Massachusetts OUI attorney who has a track record of positive results in cases like yours, and then to fight the case in court.

Fourth Offense OUI Fees and Fines

The court has broad discretion in assigning fines as a result of a fourth OUI conviction. At a minimum, a $1,000 fine will be assessed after conviction, but it can go up to $25,000 depending on the facts of the case and the judge’s decision. In addition, there will be fees related to the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) and the eventual reinstatement of your license after any breath test-related or conviction-related license suspensions have concluded.

Fourth Offense OUI License Loss

The duration of a license suspension for a fourth DUI charge can vary widely, based on the total prior offenses on your record (CWOFs are included), your age at the time of the incident, breath test refusal or failure, child endangerment, and more. The baseline license loss for a conviction on a fourth offense is 10 years. You will be eligible for a 12-hour work/education hardship license in 5 years, general hardship in 8 years. However, if you refused a breathalyzer test with three prior offenses on your record, the RMV will suspend your license for life with no eligibility for a hardship license.

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Additional Breath Test-Related License Loss

• If you are above the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: Lifetime
• If you are under the age of 21 and refused the Breath Test: Lifetime
• If you are above the age of 21 and failed the Breath Test (+ 0.08): 30 Days
• If you are under the age of 21, took the Breath Test and produced a reading of 0.02 or greater: 30 days plus an additional 180 days, for a total of 210 days 


Option 1: Fight The Case

Challenge the charge that has been brought against you. This option involves going to one of the district courts that serve Cape Cod and putting it on the government to meet their burden of proof, filing motions against the admissibility of evidence, and in most instances, exercising your constitutional right to a trial—all in an effort to obtain you a Not Guilty verdict. The government may want to use breathalyzer test results against you in addition to other diagnostic, circumstantial, or witness evidence. It’s worth fighting your case, especially for a serious fourth OUI charge, because critical evidence for the prosecution may ultimately end up inadmissible in court.

If you fight the case and win, upon order of the court your driver’s license will be reinstatedsubject to a $500 reinstatement fee at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

If you fight the case and lose, the penalties will likely be as listed above. If you lose after a trial, you will receive a conviction.

Option 2: Plea/Admit

It will be tough to take a plea on a fourth or subsequent offense. This is rarely the best option available to you, as DUI plea bargain statistics show that it will not lead to a lighter sentence the way it often can for a first or second offense. The outcome will generally be similar, if not identical, to the one you’d get if you lost the case outright.

Submit A Free Case Evaluation or call (508) 217-4450 at any time of day or night to discuss your situation with our firm for free.

Your First Day in Court: The Arraignment

If you were arrested for a Fourth Offense DUI, the first time you will appear in court is for your “arraignment.” This is a procedural event with only a few simple steps. Here’s what to expect when you get to the courthouse.


When you arrive at the courthouse you need to check into the probation department where a probation officer will get some biographical information from you in order to check on your criminal history. They ask you these questions to assess your eligibility for a court-appointed lawyer.


Once you’ve completed this process, you will be directed to the First Session/Main Session courtroom, where you will wait for your case to be called. When your case is called, the court will go forward with an ARRAIGNMENT, which is a formal way for the court to charge you with a crime. The Clerk will read off the complaint and enter pleas of Not Guilty on your behalf.


You will be released on your personal recognizance. This means you’ll be permitted to leave the courthouse without paying bail on the promise that you will return for your next court date. The judge will give you this “pre-trial conference” date, which will often be months later.


The court will also inquire about your intentions to hire a lawyer. The court will expect you to have a lawyer by the next court date. Depending on the facts of your case and your criminal record, it is possible that you may have to post an amount of bail.

Frequently Asked Questions: Fourth Offense OUI

The Registry of Motor Vehicles does not issue Hardship (or commonly referred to as “Cinderella”) Licenses for Breath Test Refusal or Failure Suspensions. If you refused the Breath Test on a charged Fourth Offense OUI, your license is suspended for life. If you win your case, however, upon order of the court, your license will be reinstated. If you failed the Breath Test and suffered the associated 30-day suspension, and you are subsequently convicted, your license will be suspended for an additional 10-years. You will not be eligible for a Hardship License until you have served 5 years of that suspension. When and if you are issued a Hardship License, you will be subject to the Ignition Interlock Requirement for the duration of your Hardship License plus 2 years on a regular license.

Finally, a first or second offender often has the option to admit to sufficient facts (which is not the same as admitting guilt) and accept a Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF). In return, you won’t be convicted (but will serve probation) and you’ll also benefit from a reduced license suspension of 45-90 days.

If convicted on a Fourth Offense, yes. A conviction on a Fourth Offense OUI mandates a jail sentence of at least 2 years, 1-year of which must be served incarcerated. Given this reality, there is little incentive to plea/admit to a Fourth Offense OUI.

You need very specific documentation to obtain a hardship license, and the required documentation depends on the charge you are facing. For example, a multiple offense charge will require different documentation than a first offense charge. To receive a hardship license, you usually need to be enrolled in a requisite program, such as the “24D” or First Offender Driver Alcohol Education Program.  Consult with a Cape Cod OUI attorney for information on the required steps in your particular case.

If you refused the breath test and this is your first offense, your license is suspended for a period of 180 days. You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to appeal this suspension at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston. The appeal is called a “Chemical Test Refusal (CTR)” Hearing. There are three issues you can challenge at this hearing: 1) Whether the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe you were OUI; 2) Whether you were placed under arrest; and 3) Whether you refused the Breath Test.

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld Breath Test machine in your car. It is electronically connected to your vehicle’s ignition and requires that you produce a BAC sample of less than .02 in order for the vehicle to start. While you are driving, you will also be required to blow into the machine at random intervals. Anyone who has two or more OUIs is required by law to have an IID installed in any vehicle they own, lease or operate. The IID will be required for the duration of any Hardship License, plus an additional 2 years on a regular license.

No, the jury will not know that you have prior OUIs. In Massachusetts, subsequent offense OUIs are treated in a bifurcated fashion. You will have a trial on the issue of whether or not you are guilty of operating under the influence of alcohol on the date of your most recent arrest. Only if the Commonwealth proves you guilty of OUI will you move on to a second trial where the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are the same person whom, on a prior occasion, was convicted or sentenced to an alcohol education program for a similar or like offense on three prior occasions.

A Fourth Offense OUI is a felony, and it will appear in CORI checks as well as on your driving record to any organizations that have access to this data. Whether you have to disclose it to a prospective employer will depend upon where you fall in the application process and how the question is posed.

Top-Rated Fourth OUI Defense Lawyers in Massachusetts


Attorney James Milligan is a top-rated Massachusetts Fourth OUI DWI DUI defense lawyer and over 150+ five-star reviews. He is one of just a few lawyers in Massachusetts who is board certified in drunk driving defense as recognized by the American Bar Association. Concentrating his practice entirely on Massachusetts drunk driving defense, OUI defense, DUI defense, and DWI defense, Attorney Milligan is often the best resource for other lawyers representing a client charged with drunk driving.


Joseph J. Higgins has been named a “Superb” DUI Defense Attorney by Avvo with a 10.0 client rating. Attorney Higgin’s previous experience as DUI prosecutor has given him an inside perspective on how best to represent people charged with a Fourth OUI in Massachusetts. He devotes his entire practice of law to specialized DUI/OUI Defense and has been recognized by The National College for DUI Defense for his dedication and commitment to this area of the law. Attorney Higgins has also been identified by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Massachusetts “Rising Star” in DUI/DWI Defense. This distinction is limited to only 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.

Don't take another chance.

It’s in your best interest to find the right DUI lawyer. Your choice can mean the difference between paying a good attorney now or paying the rest of your life with a criminal record.

Call (617) 217-4450 today for a free case evaluation.

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