Attleboro, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norton, Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Achushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, New Bedford, Westport, Berkley, Dighton, Easton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Taunton, Lakeville, Marion, Click Here To See Our Bristol County Case Results
If you’ve recently been arrested and charged with OUI in Bristol County, Massachusetts, you’re not alone. This happens to a lot of people who are understandably concerned with how it will affect their jobs, their families, and their reputation. But you don’t have to face the charges alone, either
Attorney James Milligan is an award-winning lawyer specialized 100% in Massachusetts OUI / DUI defense, and he’s ready to get your case started off on the right foot. Work with our Bristol OUI defense firm to leverage our intimate familiarity with the Bristol County court system and long track record of successful results for clients in the Bristol area.
Our Bristol County DUI law firm deals with cases like:
- First Offense DUI: Getting arrested for OUI doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. People from all walks of life are charged with OUI, and most are good folks who have taken a risk they now regret or fell victim to a misunderstanding. Even the police can make a mistake. Don’t give up. Attorney James Milligan is highly experienced and board certified in Bristol OUI / DUI defense. With the right guidance and a staunch defender in your corner, you’ll be able to make it through this challenging experience and continue with your life. Nearly all first offenses do not end in time served in jail.
- Second Offense DUI: Like a first offense, your second OUI is a misdemeanor in the state of Massachusetts. It would only become a felony if your case involves serious injuries or death. The vast majority of second OUI cases are able to be resolved without jail time whether or not you win in court. This is because Massachusetts allows an alternative sentencing guideline that include a 14-day inpatient stay at an alcohol treatment facility and probation rather than jail.
- Third Offense DUI: The consequences for a third OUI in Massachusetts can be serious, since the charge is now a felony and there is no eligibility for the lenient alternative sentences offered to first and second offenders. Conviction would include a mandatory minimum of 150 days served in jail. But don’t lose hope. You are innocent until proven guilty and have every right to hold the county of Bristol to the high standard of proof defined in the law. Assert your rights and fight the case in court with an experienced, board-certified Bristol lawyer at your side.
- Fourth Offense DUI: Anyone facing a felony fourth OUI conviction in Bristol County is at risk of receiving a mandatory jail sentence and a 10-year license suspension. The stakes are high, but remember that your prior offenses can never be used against you or even mentioned to the jury at trial. You will have the same fair chance to prove your innocence as any first offender. The mandatory jail sentence means there’s little reason to plead / admit to the charge. Your best option will be to defend your rights in court with a seasoned Bristol OUI attorney by your side.
Licensing Issues Related to DUI:
- Breathalyzer Defense Cases: According to the law, anyone driving a car on a Massachusetts road has “implied consent” to the chemical analysis of their breath or blood for the presence of alcohol. Should you fail this test with a BAC reading of 0.08% or higher, you’ll lose your license for 30 days and be charged with OUI. You’re within your rights to refuse the test (and prevent the state from collecting evidence that could only be used against you), but doing so results in an automatic administrative license suspension of 180 days for a first offender and multiple years for repeat offenders.
- Hardship or “Cinderella” Licenses: This is a license that is time-restricted (generally 12 hours a day, including periods you’d need to commute to work). No hardship licenses can be granted during the automatic RMV-imposed license suspensions for refusing or failing the breathalyzer test. However, a first offender that pleas/admits to the OUI and is enrolled in a First Offender’s Alcohol Education Program is eligible to apply immediately. Hardship licenses are typically only accessible after a set portion of your court-imposed Bristol DUI suspension (a part of your sentence for conviction) has been served.
We serve the following Bristol County courthouses:
Attleboro District Court
88 North Main Street
Attleboro, MA 02703
Attleboro District Court website and additional information
Directions to Attleboro District Court in Bristol County
Fall River District Court
186 S. Main Street, 5th Floor
Fall River, MA 02720
Fall River District Courthouse website and additional information
Directions to Fall River Court in Bristol County
New Bedford District Court
75 N. Sixth Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
New Bedford District Court website and additional information
Directions to New Bedford District Court in Bristol County
Taunton District Court
Taunton, MA 02780
New Bedford District Court website and additional information
Directions to Taunton District Court in Bristol County
FAQs: Bristol County DUI Defense
Do I Have to Find a Local Bristol Attorney to Defend Me in Bristol County?
It’s highly recommended, but not legally required. A local attorney that’s well-versed with the Bristol court system and familiar with the individuals that are likely to handle your case can give you several advantages. Attorneys that have little to no experience in Bristol will not have the same foreknowledge of the tendencies and perspectives of local judges or how the courts in the region have historically treated certain sorts of evidence or legal questions.
Also, a local Bristol OUI lawyer can easily come to you, saving you the hassle during any breath-test-related license suspension (which would occur before you go to court).
Where Do I Go For My OUI / DUI Trial in Bristol?
You will not be able to decide which court takes your case. Each Massachusetts county includes a number of district courts that hear trials for criminal cases such as OUI. Should you live in one county, but get charged with OUI in another, know that the trial will occur where the charges are brought against you — not where you live. This matters because you may not have a license or be able to drive yourself. Take care to arrange for transportation in advance.
There are four local courts in Bristol County that take OUI cases and handle all charges brought in the following areas: Attleboro, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norton, Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, New Bedford, Westport, Berkley, Dighton, Easton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Taunton.
Are OUI laws in Bristol County different from other counties in Massachusetts?
In short, no. Massachusetts OUI laws are the same across every town and county in the state — every county must follow the standards and rules laid out in Chapter 90, Section 24 of Massachusetts General Laws. The OUI laws in Massachusetts are also among the stricter DUI / OUI / DWI laws out of all the U.S. states.
However, every case is different, and so is every court. The Bristol County Court that handles your Bristol OUI case will have broad discretion in sentencing. Any attorney with deep familiarity in the local court system will be able to construct a strong defense that takes the demonstrated methodologies, preferences, and perspectives of the court into account.
What Will Happen at My Arraignment?
The arraignment is the first time you will appear in court after your arrest, generally within a few days. While sometimes seen as a formality, the arraignment is a critical step for your DUI defense. It’s also quite a simple process and nothing to be afraid of. The charges against you will be read, and a plea of Not Guilty will be entered on your behalf. Seek legal counsel beforehand, if possible, so that a professional eye can go over the facts of your case and help you understand your options — especially regarding the plea or a potential trial.
How Do I Prepare to Fight My Case in a Bristol Court?
There are likely to be months between the date of your arrest and the trial. Your first appearance in a Bristol County Court will be for the arraignment, where you assert your right to a trial with a plea of Not Guilty.
Then the work begins on preparing an effective defense for your case. Your Bristol OUI attorney can help you go over all of the facts, documents, and details to decide upon the best course of action. Legal experts look for a lot of things while building a defense against OUI charges, such as:
Once the defense is prepared, it’s important that you have ensured your schedule is clear for attendance at the trial and that your lawyer has filled you in on what to expect when it begins. Dress in clean, neat clothing and arrive on time. Bristol courts open at 8:30 AM and run until 4:30 PM. Be ready for your trial to start as early as 9:00 AM sharp. The trial could potentially take more than one day to resolve, so keep this in mind and let your attorney lead the process.
Should you need representation for your OUI / DUI trial in a Bristol County Court, it’s best to get started immediately. Consult with an experienced Bristol OUI attorney with over 150+ five star reviews and learn what to expect as you prepare your defense.
About Bristol County Certified Drunk Driving Defense Attorney James Milligan:
As one of only 3 Board Certified OUI/DUI lawyers in Massachusetts, Attorney James Milligan is fiercely dedicated to representing and defending people who have been charged with drunk driving. Not only does he have over 20 years of experience, but he also handles more drunk driving cases in a year than most attorneys do in their entire career.
Attorney Milligan is a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (MACDL), and is a state-wide lecturer on Handling OUI Cases and Breath/Blood testing. He successfully resolves a high percentage of his Massachusetts drunk driving cases and has earned his reputation as one of the top-rated OUI attorneys in the state.
Coming from Bristol County? Here’s how to find our Southshore Office: