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Aug 31, 2011

Juvenile OUI

Today we’re going to discuss very briefly what happens in an OUI case when you’ve been arrested and you’re under the age of 18. In Maine, as in most states, juvenile law applies when you’ve been charged with a crime and you’re under the age of eighteen. If you’ve been charged with a DUI and you’re under the age of 18, it is a juvenile offense. Now in some ways, the fact that the case will be in the juvenile system is to your advantage. In other ways, it becomes more problematic.

For example if you blow a 0.08% BAC and you’re over the age of 21, the mandatory minimum penalty would be a 90-day loss of license and a $500 fine. There’s no mandatory jail. On the juvenile side, you could end up doing time at the Juvenile Corrections Center based on your juvenile criminal history and other factors. Now on the flipside, you can end up doing no time on the juvenile side and, more importantly, that OUI would be completely wiped from your adult record. So unlike an adult who was convicted of the DUI and has a criminal record for life, a juvenile would end up having that criminal record sealed.

So, there are advantages and disadvantages to being caught up in the juvenile criminal system. In my estimation there may be more disadvantages than there are advantages. It is a difficult system to deal with. When you have a JCCO involved in your case it’s like being on probation. The conditions of release on your case may be onerous and restrictive at best.

So if you’ve been charged with an OUI and you’re under the age of 18, you will need to get your parents involved immediately. They will be notified and you will absolutely need to get a qualified drunk driving defense attorney involved.

Please feel free to call my office. I look forward to speaking with you soon. Thank you.

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