One significant impact of an OUI charge is changes to your motor vehicle insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know about cost, availability, and more.
What Penalties Exist for OUI Convictions in Massachusetts?
An OUI is often considered a misdemeanor, with the exception of aggravated offenses. Despite the lesser charge, the penalties are stiff. If you’re found guilty of operating under the influence, you stand to incur jail time, hefty fines, mandatory rehabilitation or counseling, and the loss of your driver’s license. If you’re charged with a second or third OUI, the sentencing becomes more severe each time. Changes to your motor vehicle insurance is also a concern — your carrier may refuse to continue insuring you or may raise your rates substantially. You may also have a harder time finding coverage if you’re dropped.
What Your Insurance Company Does Next
An insurance company’s job is to assess the risk of an individual causing an accident before offering coverage and if so, at what cost. A person’s risk factors, such as operating under the influence, speeding, reckless driving, and other related charges are considered to significantly increase the likelihood that the individual will be involved in a collision. Your driving and criminal records will be evaluated, usually when you first purchase a policy or when your policy is renewed. If your risk is determined to be high, the insurance carrier may not be able to justify offering you affordable coverage.
Does It Matter if the OUI Was Charged to Someone Else Operating Your Vehicle?
An insurance policy covers the person driving and not the vehicle, so if someone else was driving your car when they got charged with OUI, your insurance should not be affected. Instead, their own policy rates would increase. If the driver was a teen under your policy, however, your policy will likely be affected.
Contact a Massachusetts OUI Attorney Now for Legal Help
The consequences of OUI conviction are harsh and can leave you reeling for years. Your relationships, career, and day-to-day life are often all impacted by a successful OUI charge, which can haunt your driving and a criminal record for far longer than you might expect. Fighting for your rights and pursuing the dismissal of the case against you requires the experience and dedication of a seasoned Massachusetts OUI lawyer.
Thomas Kokonowski is committed to helping his clients overcome criminal charges and has extensive experience defending OUI charges. Call today for a consultation at 413-585-9200.