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OUI Defense Lawyers in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine Operating Under the Influence Defense Lawyers

OUI laws in Portland, Maine are severe and you can expect no help from law enforcement if you are stopped on suspicion of drunk or impaired driving.

The difference between a lifelong criminal record and potential jail time for an OUI conviction is usually the strength of the defense you put forward for your actions.

The tenacious Portland OUI defense attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group can help you avoid the serious consequences of a conviction. As well as an in-depth understanding of the OUI laws in Maine, we know the court system in Portland and have successfully defended many OUI defendants in your position here.


Common Concerns About OUI Charges in Portland, Maine

OUI Resources for Portland, Maine

OUI Penalties Underage OUI Felony OUI
OUI Habitual Offenders Implied Consent Laws OUI Field Sobriety Testing

OUI Penalties in Portland, Maine

Under Maine OUI laws, you are not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicant. Most drivers know this and many also understand that the legal limit is .08 percent Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

In Maine, you can be arrested and charged with an OUI even if you are within the legal limit. If a law enforcement officer suspects you of operating a vehicle in an impaired way, you will be arrested and asked to submit to certain tests.

Review the potential penalties for operating under the influence charges in Maine.

No. of Offense (Last 10 Years) License Suspension Jail Time Minimum Fine
1st Offense 150 Days 0 – 96 Hours $500
2nd Offense 3 Years 7 Days $700
3rd Offense 6 Years 30 Days $1,100
4th Offense 8 Years 6 Months $2,100

Read More Extensive Guide to OUI and Impaired Driving Penalties in Maine

First OUI Penalties

A “first offense” means that you do not have any prior OUI convictions in any state within the preceding 10 years.

Maine imposes the following set of mandatory minimum criminal penalties for a first offense OUI conviction:

  • $500 fine
  • 150-day driver’s license suspension
  • Misdemeanor on your permanent record

Portland judges frequently exceed these minimum penalties and hand down harsher punishments. It’s important to bear in mind that even for a first conviction, Maine OUI laws allow for a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail.

Penalties for second and subsequent OUI offenses carry harsher minimum and maximum penalties.

BMV OUI penalties

The BMV in Portland doesn’t wait for a conviction before suspending your driver’s license.

If you fail a breathalyzer test with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, the BMV will suspend your driver’s license. This is an automatic suspension unless you contest it by requesting an administrative hearing (in writing) within 10 days of the notice of suspension date.

An OUI lawyer from The Maine Criminal Defense Group can file for and represent you at the hearing, which can be especially beneficial if you live out of state or are busy working.

If you are unsuccessful at your BMV hearing and are later convicted in court, any criminal driving suspension runs concurrently with the BMV one. You serve the suspension only once.

Read More Refusing a Breathalyzer or Chemical Test when Pulled jOver for an OUI in Maine

Second OUI Penalties

For a second OUI offense in Maine, it’s considered a Class D crime with potential penalties. The maximum jail term is 364 days, and fines can reach up to $2,000. Mandatory minimum penalties include:

  1. Seven days of mandatory minimum jail time.
  2. A mandatory minimum fine of $700.
  3. A three-year license suspension and loss of the right to register a motor vehicle.

If you refused a chemical test, the penalties become more severe:

  1. A mandatory minimum jail sentence of twelve days.
  2. A mandatory minimum fine of $900.

To learn more about the penalties for subsequent OUI charges in Maine, please review our comprehensive guide or contact us directly.

Underage OUI penalties

For drivers under the age of 21 (the legal drinking limit in Maine), Zero Tolerance laws apply for OUI.

Your license will be suspended by the BMV for any amount of alcohol and, for a first-time OUI, you will face the following criminal penalties:

  • 150-day suspension
  • Driver Alcohol Education (DEEP Program)
  • Reinstatement fees

Read More Underage OUI Charges in Maine

Implied consent penalties in Portland, Maine

You are breaking the law if you refuse a breath, blood or urine test if you are suspected of OUI in Portland and requested to submit a chemical sample.

This is known as the “implied consent” law, meaning that drivers in Maine must submit to a BAC test or breathalyzer when requested by a qualified law enforcement officer. Refusal will lead to an automatic suspension of your driving privileges for 275 days.

For drivers under the age of 21, a refusal means an automatic suspension of driving privileges for 18 months.

Possible OUI defenses in Portland, Maine

Few OUI cases are “open and shut”. Once you talk your situation through with an experienced OUI defense attorney, we may be able to work on pretrial negotiations to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges.

If the case looks like it will proceed to trial, we can normally consider one of the following defense strategies depending on the precise circumstances of your case:

  • Lack of witness credibility: The officers/witnesses involved provide inconsistent testimony/reports.
  • No probable cause for arrest: If the arresting officer had no probable cause to arrest you and subsequently compel you to take the breathalyzer or blood test, it can damage the prosecution’s case against you.
  • Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests: FSTs are highly subjective and often administered incorrectly by poorly trained officers, which can harm the prosecution’s case.
  • Malfunctioning equipment: Breath test equipment is highly technical and needs to be correctly maintained, calibrated and operated to provide accurate readings. A technical issue or poorly trained officer can provide a powerful defense.
  • Chemical blood test issues: strict procedures must be followed with blood tests and any deviation from these can result in contamination and the evidence being dismissed.

Law Firm Location in Portland, Maine

19 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 292-5736

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday 8AM – 5PM

Contact one of our experienced OUI defense attorneys in Portland, Maine to help you avoid much of the aforementioned pain and headache that comes with getting arrested for drinking and driving.

Our OUI defense attorneys are experienced in:

  • Understanding field sobriety tests that law enforcement officials rely upon to build their drunk driving cases.
  • Understanding the nuances of breath and blood testing and are skilled at identifying the legal and scientific issues that can be identified and challenged  in court.
  • Responding to OUI challenges that involve both alcohol or drugs which is critical as OUI charges are not just unique to drinking but also partaking in illicit substance while operating a motor vehicle.

Location of courthouse in Portland, Maine

If you get charged with operating under the influence (OUI) in Portland, your case will be handled in the Portland Unified Criminal Docket, in Portland, Maine. The courthouse is located at:

205 Newbury Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 822-4200

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday 8AM – 4PM

The Maine district courthouse resides in a large, bulky, white stone building. Driving directions can be found using the following Google Maps directions, and are also available on the court’s website.

Importantly, make sure that you go to the correct courthouse. The Federal District Court for Southern Maine is located directly across Pearl Street from the Maine District Court. The Federal District Court is for federal cases – many people mistakenly go to the federal courthouse when they actually have a state case.

Your OUI charge is a state charge, so will be handled in the Maine District Court, not the Federal District Court.

What is the Court Process for an OUI in Portland, Maine?

In Portland, Maine, OUI is processed just like any other criminal case in Cumberland County — through the Unified Criminal Docket (UCD). This means that we will not need to transfer your case to the superior court for a jury on a misdemeanor OUI.

While this is generally good news for defendants, it does mean that the case may not be heard locally but at some distance from where the alleged offense occurred.

An OUI case will go through the following legal steps:

  1. Arraignment: The OUI defendant is scheduled to appear before a judge in either Portland Unified Court, Bridgton District Court, or West Bath District Court to hear the charges and enter a plea.
  2. Dispositional conference: about six weeks after arraignment, the defense, prosecution and sometimes the judge meet to discuss whether a negotiated resolution is possible.
  3. Motion hearing: the defense in OUI cases often files motions to suppress evidence or for additional discovery. This must happen no later than the day after the dispositional conference and will be heard around two weeks after the dispositional conference.
  4. Jury selection: if the OUI case proceeds to trial, jury selection in Portland generally happens on a Monday a few weeks after the motion hearing date.
  5. Trial: the trial is usually scheduled for around two weeks after jury selection. Before then, more motions may be filed to decide on the evidence that the jury will see. The OUI trial process normally takes around one or two days in Portland.

Contact Our OUI Defense Lawyers in Portland, Maine

In Portland, Maine, facing an OUI charge can be a daunting experience, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Our dedicated OUI defense team is here to protect your rights, challenge evidence, and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

With a proven track record of success, we are committed to providing you with expert legal guidance and unwavering support during this challenging time. If you have any questions about the process of dealing with an OUI charge in Portland, Maine call The Maine Criminal Defense Group at (207)571-8146.

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