CBS Boston

Melanie's Law- Massachusetts

The Massachusetts legislature passed “Melanie’s Law” in October 2005, which significantly enhanced OUI penalties and also created new criminal offenses related to operating under the influence. Many of the provisions under this law are retroactive, meaning they even apply to people who were convicted of OUI offenses decades ago and haven’t had any problems since! Specifically, after 2006, anyone applying for a hardship license, license reinstatement, or even license renewal who has a conviction for an OUI-2nd or subsequent offense is now required to have an interlock ignition device installed in his/her car before the license will issue- even if the conviction was from decades before Melanie’s Law was passed!

New Criminal Offenses Under Melanie&Rsquo;S Law:
  • OUI- Manslaughter- If you are convicted of committing manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 5 years in state prison, up to 25 years, fines up to $25,000, and a license loss period of 15 years to life.
  • Operating with a Suspended License from OUI (OAS for OUI)- If you are convicted of Operating with a Suspended/Revoked License, and that suspension or revocation is from a previous OUI, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 60 days, up to 2 ½ years, and a 1 year license loss.
  • Operating Under the Influence with a Suspended License for OUI- If you are convicted of Operating Under the Influence, and at the time of such operation your license was suspended for a previous OUI offense, you are facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year, and fines between $2,500 and $10,000. 
  • Child Endangerment by Operating Under the Influence- If you are convicted of operating under the influence while a child under the age of fourteen is in the car, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 90 days, up to 2 ½ years, and a one year license loss. A second conviction for this offense is a felony and requires a minimum mandatory 6 month jail sentence, up to 5 years in state prison, and a 3 year license loss.
  • Emloying a person with a Suspended License to Operate a Motor Vehicle- the potential penalty for a first offense is up $500 fine, while a second or subsequent offense carries up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail.
  • Allowing a Person to Operate your Car, Knowing that person is unlicensed- If you are convicted of allowing a person to operate your car, knowing that the person is unlicensed or has a suspended license, you are facing a $500 fine and up to 1 year in jail, while a second or subsequent conviction carries a $1000 fine and up to 2 ½ years in jail.
  • Allowing a Person with Interlock Ignition restriction to Operate your Car- If you are convicted of allowing a person with an interlock ignition restriction to operate your car without the interlock ignition device installed, you face up to $500 fine and 1 year in jail., while a second or subsequent conviction carries a $1000 fine and up to 2 ½ years in jail.

Contact my office if you've been charged with a Massachusetts OUI or any other criminal offense. I am available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your free initial phone consultation.

Urbelis Law, LLC

50 Milk St 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
Phone: (617) 830-2188

Client Reviews
"Ben Urbelis recently represented me in an OUI case in which I had crashed my car. I honestly did not believe I had any chance of beating it, but fortunately for me Ben was outstanding and all charges were dropped. In my first hearing he was calm, assertive and straight to the point. I was extremely impressed and satisfied. I left my hearing feeling confident that I had made the right choice of hiring him. I am positive I would have lost this case and walked away with an OUI if I hadn't. I am very happy with how he handled my case and how reassured I felt having him as my lawyer." MC
"When I found myself charged with my 3rd DUI I was certain without a doubt that I was facing 6 months to 2 1/2 years in state prison. I can’t believe you were able to guide me calmly through the whole nerve wracking process, never sugar coating anything, staying honest and always keeping me informed the whole time. I still can’t believe that in the end you pulled off a miracle to avoidany jail time. I would recommend you to anyone in the same situation. Thank you so much. You saved me.” JL
"I want to personally thank Ben and his wonderful a staff at Urbelis Law for what an outstanding job they did for my son and his friends! Ben went above and beyond for them, with a successful outcome. I would highly recommend Ben to anyone that would need his services, he was wonderful!" Gina
"Huge thank you to not only my friend, but my lawyer,Ben Urbelis..I presented him with a case that at first was a bit tricky on paper... but we worked hard together and got all information we needed to prove i was innocent! He knew from the get go a year ago that he was gonna smash this case, and he did!! Cant thank you enough man! If anyone needs a lawyer, hes your guy... no question" PB
"Thank you for your excellent representation in this matter. Coming from out of town, it wasreassuringto have an attorney who was so well organized and on top of the process. It was very clear that the judge was not only familiar with you, but had a great deal of respect for you in the courtroom. I appreciate all the effort you put into my case, and thank you again for a successful representation!" RC