Cases of operating under the influence (OUI) in Maine move through the justice system the same, regardless of whether you live in Maine or somewhere else. While it is only fair that out-of-state residents are treated the same as Mainers, if you are from another state and get charged with OUI in Maine, the inconvenience and expense of defending against the allegation are going to be a significant factor; especially when you take into account the costs of travel.
That is why the OUI defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group are well versed in representing people from out of state that have been accused of drunk or drugged driving while they were visiting Maine. We understand the difficult position an OUI charge can put you in, and strive to help you raise an effective defense while still living your life.
The statute that prohibits drunk or drugged driving in the state of Maine is 29-A Maine Statute § 2411. It outlaws operating a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol content, or BAC, at or above the state’s legal limit of 0.08%. It also prohibits being “under the influence of intoxicants” while operating a motor vehicle, allowing police to make arrests based on their subjective perception of impairment.
Violating this law comes with some steep penalties. The following table shows just the minimum penalties of a conviction, based on whether you have been convicted for OUI before, or how many prior offenses you have:
|Minimum Jail Time||Minimum Fines||Minimum License Suspension||Crime Classification|
|First OUI Offense||No minimum||$500||150 days||Class D misdemeanor|
|Second OUI Offense||7 days||$700||3 years||Class D misdemeanor|
|Third OUI Offense||30 days||$1,100||6 years||Class C felony|
These penalties can increase whenever there are aggravating factors in your arrest. These include:
While aggravating factors can increase the penalties that you can face if you get convicted on an OUI charge in Maine, prior OUI offenses still remain the biggest factor. Just because the OUI charge is in Maine does not mean that only prior offenses in Maine will count. OUI offenses in other states will count as priors.
As a member of both the Driver’s License Compact and the Non-Resident Violators Compact, Maine has an agreement with nearly all other states in the U.S. to notify each other of driving infractions that happen in the state. This is a two-way agreement: Maine hears of prior offenses that happen out of state, as well.
Through these databases, prosecutors and law enforcement in Maine will learn of prior out-of-state OUI offenses and will take them into account in the current in-state accusation. Any penalties that are issued in Maine will then get reported to your home state, which will impose those sanctions without further discussion.
People who live out of state face some special difficulties if they get accused of OUI in Maine.
The most obvious is the need to be physically present for certain court appearances, like your trial. This inconvenience gets drastically worse when your OUI case moves through the court system and you don’t have an attorney to represent you. In cases where Maine Criminal Defense Group represents our out of court clients, we can get your physical presence waived from almost all court proceedings, including the arraignment. For those of you who don’t have an attorney, the courts will require you to appear in person at every juncture, even if it means flying in from California.
Less obvious difficulties that out-of-state OUI defendants face include:
The OUI defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group understand that there are all very real problems. We can urge courts to take measures that minimize these inconveniences and try to schedule mandatory hearings that do not conflict with your life outside of Maine.
Just because it is more inconvenient than simply pleading guilty does not mean that you should simply disregard the possibility of defending against an OUI charge. The penalties of a conviction are serious and can alter how you live your life and even how you get to work. In many cases, it is well worth the time and effort to challenge the prosecutor’s case against you by arguing that:
The thought of having to come to Maine for an OUI trial should not deter you from pursuing one of these defenses. Simply raising it can make the prosecutor review the case against you, potentially leading to a good plea deal or causing them to drop the case, altogether.
The OUI defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group can help you if you were visiting Maine and got arrested and charged with drunk driving or drugged driving. Defending against these allegations is important, and worth the extra time and effort it takes to defend from afar.
Call Maine Criminal Defense Group at (207) 571-8146 or contact us online to get started on your defense.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
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