In Massachusetts, a Continuance Without a Finding (“CWOF”) for a drunk driving/OUI offense is a way of avoiding a conviction while admitting certain facts. While a CWOF avoids a guilty plea and removes an OUI from your CORI after probation has been completed, it also affects your Massachusetts Driver’s License.
Certain expectations must be met when pursuing a CWOF. You must meet the terms of your probation, which means your license is usually suspended for 45-90 days. You may also be required to do drug and alcohol training. Depending on whether your probation is supervised or unsupervised, you may be facing periodic drug and alcohol tests. You may also be facing travel restrictions and potential fines and other restitution to any victims. The duration of probation, whether supervised or unsupervised, can be up to two years.
Any violation of probation is taken extremely seriously and the court may decide to find you guilty. A CWOF usually represents a period of time where the person with the OUI is unable to be a driver in Massachusetts and/or is restricted in their movements. Many people rely on their driver’s license for employment, so a CWOF can put a lot of pressure on people with a Massachusetts OUI. If they slip up at all, the consequences can be severe.
You might think that if you are not convicted, your OUI just disappears. However, the RMV still has a record of the OUI, and if you ever have a future OUI, your Massachusetts Drivers’ License may be affected.
Most people who are offered a CWOF are people who have never previously been charged with driving under the influence. For many people, it’s a one-off, and they are unlikely to re-offend. If they have a drug or alcohol problem, they may be facing their conviction while dealing with a substance abuse problem. It might be difficult to stick to the terms of probation due to necessity, such as needing to drive for work, or lack of support for a substance abuse problem. Some are wrongfully found to be driving under the influence due to the errors of faulty breath tests.
If you are facing an OUI charge in Massachusetts, it is imperative to have an experienced Boston OUI attorney who can fight for you. You can discuss with your attorney whether the facts of the case merit fighting the charge on the grounds of your innocence or complying with a CWOF, and if so, fighting for a CWOF that is fair and allows you to pass through the probationary period as quickly as possible. At Dhar Law, LLP we care about you, your future, and the challenges you face, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to get our experienced Boston criminal defense lawyers on your side now at 617 880-6155.