Being arrested for drunk driving in Maine comes with a lot of baggage. Between the potential risk of jail and the likely suspension of their driver’s license, clients are worried most about the steps they need to take in order to regain control over their lives. Often I am asked the question (What to do if arrested for an OUI for the first time in Maine?) from clients facing drunk driving charges in Maine. This is a good question to ask, because there is a lot to consider when accused of OUI for the first time in Maine.
The first step before you do anything else is to remember that an arrest for OUI does not mean you are guilty. It is a normal reaction to feel overwhelmed when you received the citation for an OUI in Maine as you begin to realize how in-depth the legal process is with the police investigation, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) administrative suspension, and the Courts. The truth is that an OUI charge is too complex and technical for you to try to handle alone. You need someone who knows the lay of the “legal” land. This is where The Nielsen Group can help.
To help get you started, here is a brief checklist of key actions you need to take if you are arrested for an OUI for the first time in Maine.
1. Write down the circumstances of your arrest.
In order to help you make sense of what happened, it is often a good idea to write it all down. As soon as you can, take an hour or two and write down everything that happened. Not only will this help you, but it will also help your lawyer to identify possible problems in the State’s case early on. Questions you should answer in your written account include:
- What did you have to drink that night? What times did you consume each drink? What time was your last drink? Do you have the bill from the bar or restaurant?
- What time were you pulled over by the police?
- How was your driving before you were stopped? Were you distracted? Was your driving erratic? Did you drive like you were impaired?
- What reason did the Maine State or local police give you for pulling you over?
- What was the name and number of the officer or officers involved?
- Did you complete field sobriety tests? Do you have any health conditions that might have limited your ability to complete these tests?
- What questions did the police ask you?
- Did you admit to drinking?
2. Prepare to fight to keep your Maine Driver’s License.
When accused of an OUI in Maine, the BMV can suspend your driver’s license administratively based only on the law enforcement officer’s report alleging that you drove drunk. An OUI charge puts your ability to drive legally at risk, and so you should prepare to fight to keep your Maine driver’s license.
You have the right to appear at the BMV to challenge the suspension of your license at your BMV Administrative hearing. Maine provides a small window of time to request an administrative hearing, and so there is no time to waste. Requesting a BMV Administrative Hearing can postpone your driver’s license suspension date until after the hearing. If your license was taken from you because you refused to submit to a breath sample, in Maine your driver’s license would be suspended by the BMV as scheduled.
3. Keep in mind Drunk Driving in Maine is a criminal offense.
Most likely you have experienced traffic violation and infractions in your driving experience. Most traffic violations carry a fine only, or a driver’s licenses suspension in connection with a civil infraction. In contrast, a conviction for first time OUI in Maine is a criminal offense and can include a jail sentence as well as fines and suspensions. Furthermore, a criminal conviction will result in a criminal record, which may impact your scholarship or professional license.
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the expensive consequences of an OUI conviction.
A Maine OUI attorney will obtain the police reports and chemical test results from the District Attorney’s Office. After reviewing these reports, your Maine OUI attorney might request supplemental discovery to obtain records associated with the Intoxilyzer machine or the blood test. Time is of the essence here, as the opportunity to preserve key evidence, such as videotapes of the arrest, is limited. If the window of opportunity to preserve evidence passes, that critical evidence for your case can be lost permanently.
5. Remember that Maine Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating your motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Most Maine OUI cases are based upon the elements of the crime, which is driving your car, and being drunk or otherwise impaired while you driving. To prove these elements “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the State’s best evidence often include the facts pointing towards impairment (the alcohol breath test and the field sobriety tests), and the facts pointing towards driving your car (the police report). Your own statements or admission that you were driving drunk can also be used as evidence.
As a Maine OUI Defense Attorney, I can speak to the fact that an experienced OUI criminal defense attorney knows how to look at these key pieces of evidence with a trained eye, and can help navigate your case through the maze of legal policy and procedure. It is always best to move forward with an attorney when accused of a first time Maine OUI. The truth is that private attorneys achieve lower incarceration rates, shorter sentences, and greater probabilities that the charge will be either dismissed or reduced.
I know how to defend clients against Maine OUI First Offense charges. As we work together, I make a point to know the ins and outs of your case. I have built a reputation of aggressively advocating with the District Attorney and defending clients in court all the way through to trial if needed. If you choose to hire the Nielsen Group, you are more than just another case to us. We put your interests first and in the end, wouldn’t you agree that is more valuable?
Our committed legal team is determined to take immediate action to seek a positive case outcome. If you or someone you know is charged with an OUI in Maine, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will take the time to answer your questions and to put your mind at ease as we work with you to determine a defense strategy.
It is well worth your time to check out:
If you would like to call us now at (207) 571-8555, we can begin to develop your case strategy.
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