When facing an OUI charge in Maine, your driver’s license is put at risk in two ways.
- The State of Maine will automatically suspend your driver’s license, often within 10 days of your arrest.
- If you are found guilty of the OUI charges, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 150 days about five (5) months of time.
If your driver’s license was valid on the day of your OUI arrest, the state of Maine will immediately seek to suspend your driving license. You must act quickly to challenge the BMV administrative driving license suspension.
When facing an OUI, you are likely going to experience a suspension of your driver’s license. The best way to challenge the suspension of your Maine driver’s license is to have an attorney represent you at the BMV administrative hearing. Having an attorney is the most effective you can request an administrative hearing and fight the administrative suspension. With the aggressive advocacy of an OUI criminal defense lawyer, you can fight the license suspension. In some cases, you might be able to avoid an administrative license suspension from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) like this case where I defeated an administrative suspension by showing that the officer failed to follow procedure in administering a breath test. The next step would be for your attorney and you to use the information from the administrative hearing to fight the drunk driving charges in the Maine Courts.
What are My Chances of winning a BMV administrative hearing?
The issues and burden of proof at an administrative hearing are very different from the innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt approach of the criminal courts. At the BMV administrative hearing, the burden of proof is the preponderance of the evidence standard. This is due to the fact that the BMV is an administrative agency, and as a result they can suspend your license based on a police report alleging criminal OUI alone. In most OUI cases, due to the very low administrative burden, the BMV will place your driver’s license under administrative suspension. It is only at the criminal court where the District Attorney has to prove the charge of first offense OUI “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
With this in mind, as a precaution I always advise my clients that it is necessary that they prepare to experience a temporary suspension of their driver’s license. However, this does not mean that your license suspension will take effect immediately and that you would be prohibited from driving for the full 150 days for a first offense OUI. There are things that your OUI criminal defense lawyer and you can do to make this impact on your driving privileges easier. Here are just some of the strategies that can be implemented:
Request BMV Administrative Hearing to Postpone Suspension
When you receive the letter in the mail, the BMV will give you a date at which time your license is scheduled to go under suspension. If the address on your driver’s license does not match the address where you actually live, then you might not receive this notice. You should be aware that Maine places the responsibility of keeping your address current with the BMV on you. However if you have retained a DUI defense Attorney, you attorney can monitor you license status with the BMV and learn of any upcoming suspensions, and request a hearing.
When your lawyer requests an Administrative Hearing with the BMV, a remarkable thing happens. This hearing request will place a stay on your scheduled license suspension date until after the hearing is held. This means that simply because you requested a BMV Hearing, you will get extra time with an active driver’s license status.
During your extra time with an active license, I recommend to clients that they take the opportunity to get their reinstatement requirements taken care of. These BMV reinstatement requirements include:
- Complete a DEEP (Driver Education and Evaluation Program) Course
- These courses take place over a weekend
- Pay $50.00 reinstatement fee to the BMV
Become Eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device IID
If you have already completed the DEEP Course and paid your reinstatement fee to the BMV, then after 30 days of a 150 day license suspension for a first offense OUI, you can become eligible for the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
During the 30 days mandatory license suspension, you could make temporary arrangements to get transportation to and from work, or maybe you could get some flex time at work. Then after you get the IID, you would drive the car with the IID for the remainder of the license suspension period. The time with the IID installed in the car is counted towards your total license suspension period, and so this option minimizes the time you would spend off the road.
Postpone Suspension with Work-Restricted License
This is a special option for those facing a first offense OUI. Second offense and subsequent OUI offenses cannot get work licenses. However, if you are facing a first offense OUI, and at work you simply cannot afford to take any suspension time right now beyond the stay for your BMV Hearing, this might be a good option for you.
Unlike the IID, any time you have with an approved work restricted license will not count towards your total suspension period. In this way, work restricted licenses merely delay the suspension. Whether a work restricted license is appropriate in your case is something that you would discuss with your OUI defense lawyer.
Adhere to License Suspension to Avoid New Charges
When your driver’s license has been placed under suspension by the BMV, it is considered a crime to continue drive in violation of the suspension. This offense is known as Operating After Suspension (OAS). An OAS charge will only compound your OUI-related problems, and so I recommend strongly to clients that they respect the suspension and that they do not drive unless their license has been reinstated.
During your license suspension, and in the most severe circumstances, you might want to consider a temporary lifestyle change in order to make sure that you are not tempted to drive on a suspended license. Some examples that clients have done include changing their job conditions, such as working from home, changing jobs, and temporarily living closer to work, among other strategies. Others have found that it is easier to find rides from friends and family.
An Experienced OUI Attorney Can Make a Difference
Looking at the facts, the key points to consider when facing a driving license suspension due to a OUI allegation are:
- Having a seasoned OUI attorney who knows what to look for and address at the BMV administrative hearing is a benefit.
- The process of challenging an administrative license suspension needs to be done by an attorney.
- A attorney can help minimize the amount of time you are without a driver’s license by aggressively negotiating and arguing on your behalf for reduced time or delayed start of the suspension.
The Nielsen group is uniquely qualified to assess your case and help develop a smart legal strategy and aggressive defense. As you can see below, it is our reputation.
|WHAT THEY ARE ALL SAYING|
|SMART STRATEGY & AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE BRINGS ABOUT RESULTS AND VICTORIES|
|Went Above and Beyond What We Expected
We were impressed with that we saw and read, and spoke with Attorney Nielsen extensively over the phone. Having a good feeling that he would represent my son well, we went ahead and retained The Nielsen Group.
Since then, and with Attorney Nielsen legal help, my son has turned his life around. Attorney Nielsen was instrumental in negotiating aggressively at the BMV Hearing to reduce my son’s license suspension. His suspension could have been much longer because of the underage passengers in the car, but Attorney Nielsen made sure that did not affect my son negatively, which was a great thing. [Read More]
|Supremely Confident in the Nielsen Group’s Global Performance
We have never met Attorney Nielsen in person, but his extensive knowledge of the law and up to the minute mastery of my daughter’s case facts were immediately evident.Attorney Nielsen along with Attorney Ellis and their Office Manager, Shareen, are readily available to respond in a compassionate and detailed fashion. Attorney Nielsen’s approach with his clients is unparalleled. His office strives to leave no question un-addressed, and they research in detail their case with indelible command of the facts.. [Read More]
|I trust Attorney Nielsen and feel he was looking out for me
I am writing with my testimonial about my experience with Attorney Chris Nielsen at The Nielsen Group. I was charged with a first offense OUI out of Portland. When I met Attorney Nielsen, I felt comfortable telling him anything about my case. I did not feel judged in any way, and I felt supported through the entire process. He educated me about the law and what was going to happen with my case at court. [Read More]
|We offer smart, effective defense strategies|