As a Boston drunk driving defense lawyer, I took note of a recent article in the MetroWest Daily News about an arrest warrant issued for a Framingham man charged with OUI. Elias Furtunato Dasilva, 29, did not show up for his arraignment on Tuesday, April 20, in connection with a hit-and-run car wreck that he allegedly caused the previous weekend.
Dasilva was arrested on the night of Sunday, April 18, after police found him down the street from a three-car crash near Wildwood Steakhouse. According to a police report, Dasilva said that he had had three beers before getting behind the wheel of his car. He then allegedly crossed the double yellow line and hit an oncoming car. A third car was also involved in the crash. Dasilva said he ran away because he was scared, but when police found him he admitted to driving the errant car. He failed three sobriety tests, according to the police. A passenger in one of the cars was treated at Marlborough Hospital for serious injuries and released the next day. After posting $1,000 bail on Sunday night, Dasilva had been expected in Marlborough District Court on Tuesday to answer charges of driving without a license, leaving the scene of personal injury, operating under the influence and a marked lanes violation. Since he did not show up, the court issued an arrest warrant. A bail status hearing is scheduled for May 24.
As a Massachusetts OUI defense lawyer, I know that being involved in a car wreck and being charged with intoxicated driving is often frightening. But anyone charged with OUI is much better off engaging a Boston DUI defense attorney than leaving the scene of an accident and jumping bail. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can challenge the faulty field sobriety tests that police use as the basis for an OUI charge, for example, or challenge the validity of the original traffic stop and search. These and other defenses can lead to getting the case dismissed or winning a not-guilty verdict. The news report does not say whether the police used a breathalyzer as well as field sobriety tests, so it may be possible to call into question whether Dasilva was truly impaired. Three beers may or may not have rendered him legally impaired, with a 0.08% or higher blood-alcohol concentration.
By contrast, leaving the scene and skipping his bail puts Dasilva in a substantially worse position than he would otherwise have been in. If this was a first OUI, he could have been eligible for the 24D/alternative disposition program, which reduces the time when defendants lose a driver’s license and carries no possibility of jail. Leaving the scene and then failing to show up to court tells the court you are not responsible or remorseful, which substantially reduces your chances of getting alternative disposition or any other kind of lenient sentence. Of course, it also means more criminal charges. With jail time and hundreds of dollars in fees and fines on the line, it’s important to fight drunk driving charges the right way and with confidence, rather than compounding them with bad decisions made out of fear.
Attorney Stephen Neyman handles Boston and eastern Massachusetts OUI cases with expertise and confidence, helping clients get their charges dismissed — or a not guilty verdict — so they can get on with their lives. If you are in a situation like this, please help yourself by calling the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman immediately. Defense against OUI charges is one of our specialties. For a consultation, please call (617) 263-6800 or contact us online.