Operation Under the Influence of Alcohol – 3rd Offense
Lowell OUI defense lawyer Ryan Sullivan represented a man accused of driving under the influ-ence of alcohol, alleged as a third offense. The case was pending out of the Lowell District Court for a series of several months while Attorney Sullivan vigorously represented the client seeking a reduction of the charges to avoid a mandatory jail sentence. The DUI arrest was made by a Lowell Police Officer during the afternoon in downtown Lowell.
Lowell police received a 9-1-1 call involving an SUV that had struck another vehicle and contin-ued to drive away. Shortly thereafter, a Lowell police patrol officer stopped Attorney Sullivan’s client’s car, noticing that there was damage to his vehicle which appeared to be fresh. The cli-ent appeared disheveled, and was alleged to have urinated himself. Officers performed field sobriety tests on the client, who in their opinion was extremely intoxicated. As a result of the police investigation, the client was arrested.
The client’s car was searched after his arrest and alcohol and prescription medication were both found inside of the vehicle. A criminal record check was conducted and it was discovered that he had at least two prior OUI offenses.
Ultimately the client was charged with a third offense OUI and leaving the scene of property damage.
A person who is charged with a third offense OUI faces a felony that has a minimum sentence of 6 months in jail (5 months of that is called a mandatory sentence that cannot be reduced for any reason). The maximum punishment is two and a half years in jail or five years in state prison, along with significant fines.
Attorney Sullivan’s client was diagnosed with alcohol dependence disorder, which he clearly suffered from. An army veteran, he had been deployed overseas in combat on several occa-sions. As a result of his valiant service, the client suffered a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. A clinician with the VA determined that his alcohol use disorder, PTSD, and his brain injury were all directly related to his combat service.
Following his arrest, the client entered residential treatment, maintained outpatient alcohol treatment, and was committed to sober living. He had the support of his family, his clinicians, and a documented commitment to working on his sobriety and improving his life.
Given the reasons for leniency, Attorney Sullivan sought from the prosecutors a request to re-duce the charges and allow the client to enter services at the Veteran’s Treatment Court in Framingham. Unfortunately, the District Attorney’s Office would not agree to reduce the charges. Attorney Sullivan was told it simply was not done.
Not losing hope, Attorney Sullivan drafted a motion seeking the judge to depart from the man-datory minimum sentence in the “interests of justice” citing a rarely used provision in the OUI law. After weeks of arguments, Attorney Sullivan convinced the then-sitting First Justice in the Lowell District Court to impose a period of probation on the client’s case. As a result, the client entered the treatment court and avoided jail time.
Attorney Sullivan’s client continued his outpatient treatment, avoided jail time, and was not separated from his loving family.
If you or a loved one is charged with a subsequent offense OUI or DUI charge, contact Lowell DUI defense lawyer Ryan Sullivan today to schedule your free consultation.
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