Breathalyzer Evidence Excluded in Massachusetts?

  • Irvin Rakhlin
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Are breathalyzer tests performed on the Draeger 9510 Machine Being Excluded in Massachusetts?

The answer is yes and no. Since the ground breaking ruling by Judge Robert Brennan in Commonwealth v. Ananias, Figeroa, et al. (February 2017), defense attorneys and prosecutors throughout the Commonwealth have been attempting to analyze and argue the boundaries of that decision.  Attorney Rakhlin, along with a team of five other attorneys, led the charge on behalf of a large group of defendants trying to prove that the breathalyzer evidence being used in the trial courts of the Commonwealth was not scientifically reliable. Judge Brennan’s lengthy and detailed decision carefully analyzed the evidence presented to the Court, and ultimately came to the conclusion that any breathalyzer result from a machine calibrated between 2011 and September 15, 2014 was PRESUMPTIVELY EXCLUDED. This decision dealt a huge blow to the prosecution in cases from that time period where the breathalyzer evidence was the strongest piece of evidence for the Government.


If the Ananias case ruled that the evidence should be excluded, then what’s being challenged now?

In courts across Middlesex, Essex, and some other counties in Massachusetts there are prosecutors seeking to convince judges that the excluded breathalyzer results should be admissible. They are seeking to do this by soliciting testimony from chemists from the Office of Alcohol Testing. By doing this, they hope to convince the Court that the machines in question were indeed properly calibrated, despite the lack of written protocols for doing so.


Fighting Back in Framingham! Making OUIs harder to Prove in Framingham, Massachusetts

On May 9, 2017 Attorney Rakhlin had the opportunity to team up with one of the lead counsel from the Ananias case, the unstoppable Attorney Joseph Bernard from Springfield, MA, to deal a significant blow to the prosecution of OUI cases in Framingham, MA. Together, Attorneys Rakhlin and Bernard were able to convince Judge Jennifer Stark to re-affirm the exclusion of this scientifically dubious evidence in the trials of defendants in the Framingham District Court. In general, a breathalyzer result over .08% is a very damaging piece of evidence in a criminal case, and if admitted can result in a GUILTY verdict at trial, or force an individual to accept a plea.  However, due to the tenacious efforts of Attorneys Rakhlin and Bernard these defendants can now move forward with a MUCH better chance of securing a NOT GUILTY verdict at their OUI trials.


Can I get the breathalyzer evidence thrown out in my case? 

If you are charged with an OUI/DUI offense in eastern Massachusetts it is imperative that you contact Rakhlin Law at 617-564-0466 to evaluate whether the breathalyzer evidence in your case can be excluded based on the decision in Commonwealth v. Ananias or based on some other legal basis. Similarly, if you face an OUI/DUI case in western Massachusetts there could be no greater peace of mind than having Attorney Joseph Bernard in your corner, standing between you and the prosecution.

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