Facing a DUI? Don’t Lose Hope

A DUI can be a truly scary and life altering experience. For many people, this is their first run-in with the law. It wasn’t a crime they intended to do. It was just the result of bad planning. Now they are confused and scared about their future. They are bogged down by questions.

“Am I going to jail?”

“Will my license be suspended?”

“How will I get to work?”

“Are my car insurance rates going to skyrocket?”

If this sounds like you, then we understand. We are not here to judge you. It is our job to protect you.

The one thing we tell our clients is: Don’t lose hope.

Attorney Mike Bowser will do everything he can to fight for your rights. He has done this many times for families like yours. Take a look at what some of his clients has to say:

A DUI can truly change your life. It can impact your future for many years to come. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, call Bowser Law today so we can evaluate your case and tell you what your options are.

Holiday Travel Bring DUI Arrests for Mass Drivers

For most people, the holidays mean happiness and time spent with family. For law enforcement, it is an opportunity to make DUI arrests.

Around the holidays, local and state police increase DUI enforcement through roving patrols and roadblocks. These are very calculated. Not only are they in high traffic areas, they are often in areas that target Mass residents traveling through New Hampshire. In fact, we deal with a high number of Mass drivers who were arrested in New Hampshire.

The problem with these cases is that you have proceedings and penalties in both states. This is why you should find an experienced attorney who is licensed to practice in both states. If your attorney does not handle interstate cases on a regular basis and makes an error, you could face an unnecessary license suspension.

A DUI can truly change your life. It can not only ruin your holiday plans but it can also impact your future for many years to come. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, call Bowser Law today so we can evaluate your case and tell you what your options are.

What is the Bowser Law Difference?

There are many attorneys out there, but Mike Bowser stands out as bold, fearless and passionate.

  • Mike Bowser offers a personal touch to personal injury cases. He cares about you and your family and how this tragedy has deeply affected you. He will investigate and personally prepare your case to pursue the maximum compensation for you.
  • Clients who have hired Mike Bowser LOVE him! Take one look at some of his five star reviews and you will know exactly why.
  • Mike Bowser is a ruthless trial attorney who has appropriately received accolades from judges and opposing counsel for his expertise and professionalism.
  • Attorney Bowser has over twenty-five years of experience representing clients injured due to the negligence of another. He has tried several hundred cases successfully to verdict in the District and Superior Courts, including many personal injury jury verdicts that far exceeded the Insurance Company’s last best offer.

29 years of Proven Results.

(888) 526-9737

What is a Cahill Disposition in MA OUI

A Cahill disposition is a 2nd Lifetime 1st Offense. A standard true OUI 2nd Offense in Massachusetts requires a mandatory two (2) year loss of license from the sentencing Court and imposition of one of two alternative mandatory sentences, either: 14 days inpatient at a secure locked down hospital treatment center, followed by one (1) year aftercare and a two (2) year probation period, or sixty (60) days in the House of Correction with two a two (2) year probation period. The vast majority of Judges in Massachusetts will impose the hospitalization/treatment option over the jail option. However, a 2nd offense, like a 1st offense, is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 2 ½ year in the House of Correction. If there was a breath test refusal at the time of the OUI 2nd arrest a three (3) year CTR is imposed by the RMV and it cannot run concurrently with the two (2) year OUI suspension.

A driver/defendant can qualify for a Cahill disposition, at the discretion of the sentencing Court, if they have only one (1) lifetime prior offense, and the prior offense (CWOF or Guilty) is more than ten (10) years before the OUI 2nd arrest date. In a Cahill sentence, the driver/defendant receives the typical 1st offense disposition, i.e. one (1) year probation, outpatient alcohol education program, standard fees and fines and a loss of license as short as forty-five (45) days. This drastically shortens the Court ordered OUI license suspension and avoids the mandatory hospitalization or jail sentence. A Cahill sentence also allows for the driver to apply for an immediate hardship license from the RMV, as they would when sentenced on a true OUI 1st offense. However, the OUI suspension is on and after any CTR suspension, i.e. three (3) year CTR plus forty-five (45) days. Lastly, any lifetime 2nd offender, regardless of whether it is a true 2nd or Cahill, must install and maintain the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for the entire period of a hardship license plus two (2) additional years.

In my experience, a Cahill disposition is almost always obtainable on a plea disposition before trial. If a trial on an OUI 2nd Offense results in a guilty finding, even when the prior is more then ten (10) years old, a true 2nd offense sentence would likely follow, rather than a discretionary Cahill disposition from the Court. A Cahill disposition can also be continued without a finding (CWOF) but it is not as routine as on a OUI 1st offense..

What is a CWOF disposition in MA OUI

The Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law, oftentimes referred to as Melanie’s Law, M.G.L. Chapter 90, section 24 includes a lifetime look back provision for establishing prior offenses to charge a driver as a subsequent repeat offender. Melanie was a child killed by a drunk driver who had a long history of drunk driving convictions, but all of them were outside the ten (10) year lookback that existed at the time of his fatal OUI crash with Melanie.

The Massachusetts law now allows State Prosecutors, Courts and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to use any prior drunk driving disposition, from any jurisdiction, at any time during your lifetime to calculate a subsequent offense. In Massachusetts, the statute only goes up to 5th Offense. I had a prior case where it was my client’s eleventh (11th) lifetime OUI charge, but he could only be prosecuted as a 5th offender. 3rd, 4th and 5th offenses in Massachusetts are felonies, with potential prison sentences up to five (5) years and license revocations of eight (8), ten (10) and lifetime, respectively. 1st and 2nd offenses are misdemeanors.

Administrative suspensions for Chemical Test Refusals (CTR) at the time of arrest through the RMV, also use the lifetime lookback to determine the length of the CTR. They are 180 days with no prior OUI dispositions, three (3) years with one lifetime prior OUI, five (5) years with two lifetime prior OUIs, and a lifetime suspension through the RMV for a chemical test refusal with three (3) prior OUI dispositions. The only way to vacate a Chemical Test Refusal is by a Court Order following a not guilty verdict at trial on the underlying OUI charge or an outright dismissal of the OUI charge. A continuance without a finding (CWOF) disposition counts the same as a guilty finding for lifetime lookback provisions, both criminal and administratively for a CTR suspension.

There are approximately ten thousand (10,000) OUI 1st offense arrests in Massachusetts each year. Approximately 94% of these cases are resolved by way of a plea referred to as a “continuance without a finding” (CWOF). In this disposition the driver/defendant admits that the facts presented to the Court by the Prosecutor/Police at a plea hearing are sufficient to prove guilt on the OUI charge at a trial. The Judge is then asked to accept the admission, but to continue the matter without a finding of guilt entering, typically for a period of one (1) year. During the one (1) year the case is left open, the defendant is on a period of probation, pays mandatory fees/fines to the Court, suffers a loss of license, typically forty-five (45) days, but sometimes as long as ninety (90) days, and must complete the outpatient alcohol education program. A defendant waives all of his/her constitutional rights to trial with this plea, and they can be found guilty and sentenced up to 2 ½ years in jail, the maximum potential penalty, if there is a violation of the probation terms. A person on Probation for OUI cannot leave the Commonwealth without the permission of the Court and Probation Department. At the end of the one (1) year period of probation, if all conditions are met, the charge is dismissed without a conviction and the case is closed. This is not a criminal conviction under Massachusetts Law.

However, the CWOF disposition counts as an 1st OUI Offense forever, under the lifetime lookback provisions of Melanie’s Law. If a person goes to trial and is convicted of an OUI 1s Offense, the sentence provisions set forth above are the same, but a record of the misdemeanor conviction exists. Both outcomes count forever as a first offense because Melanie’s Law defines a prior OUI offense as a guilty finding or an “assignment to an alcohol education course by a Court.” The CWOF always comes with mandatory assignment to the alcohol education program. Further, the Federal Government does not distinguish between a CWOF and a Guilty finding. The Canadian government will exclude a person from entry to Canada for ten (10) years if they have a CWOF disposition on a MA OUI charge. A CWOF

disposition is not supposed to be disclosed on a C.O.R.I. check, but many potential employers, including schools, hospitals and law enforcement will see it. My experience is that Federal Agencies also see the CWOF on a background check.

A driver is not allowed to apply for a hardship license in Massachusetts through the RMV until they are sentenced by the Court on the OUI offense, on probation and enrolled in the alcohol education program. There is no right to a hardship during an administrative suspension through the RMV (CTR) or Per se (>.08 breath test admin RMV suspension) until the person is sentenced by the Court on the OUI.

In my practice, I try to instill in clients the realization that the CWOF is a 1st Offense OUI for the rest of their lives. If they want to plead out to the CWOF they can hire any lawyer they want, because the law does not allow for deviation from the minimum mandatory penalty provisions of Melanie’s Law.

Year in Review 2019

2019 was another busy year at Bowser Law for OUI/DWI defense in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and now Maine. Bowser Law concluded 138 Drunk Driving Defense cases in these three states in 2019.

85 DWI cases in New Hampshire;
49 OUI cases in Massachusetts;
4 OUI cases in Maine;

Some interesting numbers from these totals:
76 % of the total cases were resolved with a not guilty verdict, outright dismissal, or a negotiated plea to a lesser OUI/DWI offense.

15 Jury Trials with 8 not guilty verdicts.
17 Bench Trials with 13 not guilty verdicts.

In New Hampshire, where Prosecutors are allowed to negotiate with the defense for the outright dismissal of the DWI/DUI charge, oftentimes in return for a plea to a lesser civil infraction of Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving, this occurred in 43 out of 85 total New Hampshire cases. These types of dispositions are earned through knowledge, experience, preparation, research and the willingness to challenge the State’s case, even if that means losing an administrative license suspension (ALS) at the DMV in order to prepare a better defense of the DWI criminal charge. This type of non DWI outcome is incredibly important for many Massachusetts residents facing a NH DWI charge, where the collateral administrative consequence in Massachusetts imposed by the MA RMV under the Lifetime Lookback provisions of Melanie’s Law is far worse than any penalty imposed by the NH Court on the DWI. The majority of Bowser Law’s NH DWI clients are Massachusetts residents, many of whom are dealing with at least one prior OUI offense under Melanie’s Law.

Where a plea was voluntarily negotiated and entered to a DWI offense in 33 NH cases, 12 were the result of an Aggravated DWI being reduced to DWI 1st to avoid mandatory jail and extended license loss with an ignition interlock device upon restoration. An additional 12 cases were originally charged as a subsequent offense (2nd/3rd or 4th offenses) but were reduced to a lesser DWI charge and other related motor vehicle, misdemeanor of felony charges were dismissed as part of the plea negotiations.

In Massachusetts the defense is almost entirely limited to pleading to the OUI offense as charged or proceeding to trial. In 49 MA OUI cases, a voluntary plea was entered in 22 cases. 6 of those 22 pleas resulted in a 1st offense Cahill disposition, where the complaint charged OUI 2nd. One was an OUI 4th felony complaint, resolved by plea to a misdemeanor OUI 2nd. 15 pleas resulted in a continuance without a finding (C.W.O.F.) on an OUI 1st complaint. Many of these dispositions were entered for New Hampshire residents facing the MA OUI charge, to allow them to retain their valid New Hampshire licenses. This year included a critically important appeal in NH related to the NH DMV’s treatment of a MA OUI C.W.O.F. disposition. It was a Bowser Law client.

27 of the original 49 Massachusetts OUI cases proceeded to bench or jury trial or a decision on complaint applications to the clerk/magistrate (2). 21 out of 27 cases resulted in a not guilty verdict or outright dismissal of the OUI charge. The majority of these cases involved subsequent offenses under Melanie’s Law Lifetime Lookback provisions with mandatory jail, felony conviction, and extended license loss hanging in the balance.

In Maine, 1 of the 4 OUI cases resulted in a plea to a lesser offense of Reckless Driving, which was certainly important to the Massachusetts resident. The other 3 matters were resolved by plea to an OUI 1st charge, where the complaints were amended to remove mandatory jail sentences for prior offenses, elevated breath test results >.15, or refusal of the chemical test. The Maine OUI Defense practice continues to grow, especially among residents of Massachusetts and New Hampshire struggling to understand the reciprocity issues at home.

Significantly, Attorney Bowser continues to be a leading practitioner in the area of reciprocity license/privilege suspension issues between his three (3) states of practice: Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. If you are facing a drunk driving charge in any of these three (3) jurisdictions please call our office to schedule an initial free consultation. A great defense travels, and plays well anywhere.

Doctor or Dentist

What Does a DUI Means for a Doctor or Dentist?

No one plans on getting a DUI. Usually, the incident is a result of poor planning. As a result, people from all walks of life find them on the wrong side of circumstances. Unfortunately, a DUI can be a truly life altering experience. This is especially true if you are a doctor or dentist.

Whether you reside in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Maine, a DUI can affect you in the following ways:

Loss of your Medical License

One of the prerequisites for obtaining licensure is that the individual must have “good moral standing”. Determining this is subject to the view of the State Board of Medicine or Dentistry. There have been numerous cases in the past in which the Board deemed an individual unfit based on a DUI conviction. Losing your license is the worst possible outcome and is reason enough to find the best legal help you can to fight this charge.

Loss of your Reputation

In this age of social media, nothing stays hidden for long. This is especially true of DUI convictions. If your patients or colleagues find out about this, the effect on your reputation can be very damaging and last for years to come. DUI carries a very strong social stigma. Who would want to be treated by some “drunk” and “irresponsible” doctor? Unfortunately, that is how people view others who have a DUI conviction.

Even More Serious if the Charge Involves Drugs

DUI charges are even more serious if your charge involves drugs, even if the substance was legalized marijuana. While recreational marijuauna is legal in some states, driving after smoking weed is not. This is a compounded problem for doctors because, not only is this a DUI offense, it is also a drug offense which is looked at more severely by State Medical Boards.

Attorney Mike Bowser has Helped Secure Not Guilty Verdicts for Doctors and Dentists

Not every doctor is the same. Some are specialists. Some are not. Some have more experience and some are just starting out. The same holds true for criminal defense attorneys. Attorney Mike Bowser has over 25 years of trial experience and is the only Board Certified DUI Specialist who works in all three states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. He is dedicated to protecting his clients and deals with professionals like you. One consultation with him and you will see the clear difference between him and the rest.

Here is a testimonial from a Dentist who was in jeopardy of losing his practice and found Mike Bowser to be a life-saver:

DUI expert trial attorney My case was very complex. I am a dentist and if found guilty of a third oui i would loose my license to practice dentistry and have to close my dental practice of twelve employees and ultimately not be able to pay my mortgage on both my house and my office building. I was looking at jail time and Major family problems. After hiring attorney Bowser, he very cooly got my breath test dismissed to my surprise due a faulty test that he uncovered. The case finally went to trial, but still evidence against me was serious and I was sure I would be found guilty. Attorney Bowser, after both picking jurors and trying the case, was able show reasonable doubt and the jury found me NOT GUILTY OF THE OUI!!… My life was on the line and thank god I hired Attorney Bowser to handle my case. I still can not believe the incredible out come. If you want an attorney that can do the impossible, I strongly recommed Atty Michael Bowser. He is professional, detailed, honest and he gets results even if you think it is not possible. I strongly recommend Atty Bowser for your legal needs, he is an incredible gifted trial attorney. My prayers were answered when a friend recommended Atty Bowser!!

Posted by Anonymous December, 2018

You have worked too hard to lose everything because of one mistake. Call Attorney Mike Bowser now at (888) 414-9202 today for your free case consultation. When it is your career on the line, don’t sell yourself short by choosing the wrong attorney.

Repeat Offenders

Why Experience Matters: Repeat Offenders

There are plenty of DUI attorneys out there. Each one has a different level of experience and a different way of handling cases. Some attorneys try to simply negotiate a plea in every case. We are not that firm.

At Bowser Law, we pride ourselves on fighting for the citizens accused of a crime. We take cases to trial to fight for the best possible result for our clients. When you decide to fight, experience matters. Attorney Bowser’s results prove his success.

In this blog series, we will detail some examples of how experience makes a difference in DWI/OUI cases. Previously in this series, we have covered:

Today we will look at Repeat Offenders.

If you have been charged with a DUI and you have a past conviction, you can expect to face enhanced penalties which include jail time and a lengthy license suspension. Because of the political and safety issues related to DUI, judges come down hard on habitual offenders. This means more serious penalties for you. There are also many other consequences like higher insurance rates and possibly the loss of your job. In these cases, having an experienced trial lawyer on your side is extremely important. A conviction will not be a slap on the wrist.

If you have a DUI conviction in the past, it is in your best interest to find an experienced attorney who is willing to fight hard to protect you. This is not a case you can take lightly and, unfortunately, many attorneys will do just that. To them, your case is just a file and their goal is to resolve it as soon as possible, even if that means hurting your future.

Attorney Mike Bowser is different. He plans to put in many hours into investigating and preparing your case. He knows how serious this is and is willing to take the case to trial if necessary. The goal is to fight and protect you.

Many drivers like you who were facing repeat offenses chose attorney Bowser based on his track record and past success in these types of cases. They found him to be a life saver when they need it most. Call Attorney Mike Bowser at (888) 414-9202 today for your free case consultation. Don’t sell yourself short by choosing the wrong attorney.

Dealing with Police

Why Experience Matters: Dealing with Police

There are plenty of DUI attorneys out there. Each one has a different level of experience and a different way of handling cases. Some attorneys try to simply negotiate a plea in every case. We are not that firm.

At Bowser Law, we pride ourselves on fighting for the citizens accused of a crime. We take cases to trial to fight for the best possible result for our clients. When you decide to fight, experience matters. Attorney Bowser’s results prove his success.

In this blog series, we will detail some examples of how experience makes a difference in DWI/OUI cases. Previously in this series, we have covered:

Today we will look at Dealing with the Police.

Many times a DUI case hinges on the testimony of one person: the arresting police officer. The tough part of this is, by virtue of being a police officer, judges and jurors believe and trust them more than you. After all, aren’t the police officers the ones who protect our communities?

In reality, most police officers are hard working and really want to do the right thing. However, law enforcement is a human endeavor and mistakes are made. Often times, officers are expected to make split second determinations and decisions in the heat of the moment. Mistakes can and will be made. Some of the common problems with police are:

Incorrect police reports

If you have seen a police report that describe the events of the arrest in a completely different way than what actually happened, then you need an experienced attorney who can tell the court the truth. This can only be done if your attorney is committed to putting in the time to investigate the documents and video evidence.

Testimony in court that misses some of the facts

Often times, police officers will give their account of what happened in court. Remember, officers are often dealing with many cases and sometimes they may mix up the facts. There are also facts that may have come to light after the arrest which could be used to explain some of the events that happened. The best way to make sure the court hears all the correct information is to have an aggressive and experienced cross examiner like Attorney Mike Bowser.

Attorney Mike Bowser is highly respected in the courtroom. Judges and prosecutors know him as a hardworking attorney who has a reputation for holding the police accountable. Police officers also respect him and regularly refer clients to him as they hold his work in high regard.

Since he is authoritative in the courtroom, he makes sure that your side of the story is heard. He goes the extra mile to investigate any potential issues that can be challenged and prepares an aggressive case based on that. If you have a DUI case and can’t afford to be convicted, call Attorney Mike Bowser at (888) 414-9202 today for your free case consultation.

Interstate Issues

Why Experience Matters: Interstate Issues

There are plenty of DUI attorneys out there. Each one has a different level of experience and a different way of handling cases. Some attorneys try to simply negotiate a plea in every case. We are not that firm.

At Bowser Law, we pride ourselves on fighting for the citizens accused of a crime. We take cases to trial to fight for the best possible result for our clients. When you decide to fight, experience matters. Attorney Bowser’s results prove his success.

In this blog series, we will detail some examples of how experience makes a difference in DWI/OUI cases. Previously in this series, we have covered:

Today we will look at Interstate Issues.

If you are an out of state resident who gets charged with a DUI, things can get complicated very quickly. Because states share information through the national driver registry, you have to deal with issues in both the state you were charged in and your home state. There are very specific procedures that have to be followed and if your case is not handled correctly, you may find yourself serving a longer license suspension than you have to.

Many attorneys do not have experience working with the courts and agencies in multiple states. At Bowser Law, not only do we have the experience, we have also fought these agencies when they were uncooperative. Recently, Bowser Law sued the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) because they were not cooperating in clearing one of our clients who was a New Hampshire resident. As a result of our challenge, the RMV changed their software which will benefit many drivers who were facing similar circumstances.

If you have a DUI and are an out of state driver, call Attorney Mike Bowser at (888) 414-9202 today for your free case consultation. Remember, Attorney MIke Bowser is the only Board Certified DUI Specialist who is licensed and practices in the three states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.