Former Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Bruce Smith had a charmed NFL career. He played in four Super Bowls, was selected to the Pro Bowl eleven times, was a first team All Pro nine times, owned the NFL career sack title for a while and will be enshrined in the National Football League Hall of Fame this summer. Smith has also been charmed when it comes to DUI cases. He had one dismissed in 1997 and beat another in 2003. Now however Smith has been charged again. According to reports several weeks ago Smith was stopped for speeding at 1:42 a.m. He refused to take a breathalyzer test but nevertheless was charged with DUI. Smith has also been charged with refusing the breathalyzer.
In Virginia the law is clear that a refusal to take a breathalyzer test is admissible as evidence at trial. If the defendant has prior convictions then a refusal to take the test can result in a misdemeanor charge. Neither is the case in Massachusetts. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test in Massachusetts there can be no mention of the refusal by the district attorney to the jury. As a matter of fact, Massachusetts has a jury instruction that covers the issue of refusals. In essence, if the defendant chooses, the judge will instruct a jury that it cannot consider the absence of a breathalyzer in its deliberation process. The instruction goes on to say that there are many reasons why breathalyzer tests may not have been employed, including the unavailability of a properly functioning breathalyzer machine. Additionally, no matter what offense OUI you are charged with in Massachusetts the refusal to take the breathalyzer test cannot result in a separate criminal charge issuing against you.
If you have been charged with DUI in Massachusetts call us to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman has handled countless OUI case successfully. We can be reached twenty four hours per day seven days per week at 617-263-6800 or you can contact us online.