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In Maine, an operating under the influence (“OUI”) charge can be brought against you if a Law Enforcement Officer has probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants; or, that you were operating while having an alcohol level of 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath. As a result of the Officer’s investigation where probable cause is determined, you will either be summonsed to appear in Court to face the charge(s) against you, or arrested and transported to jail and if you can do so, be bailed out of the Cumberland County Jail by a Bail Commissioner.
I represent individuals who have been charged by the State of Maine with the crime of Operating Under the Influence, also known as "OUI" or "DWI or DUI" that originate within Cumberland County and are processed in the Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket in Portland. These cases may begin with a defendant being ordered to appear for court for the first time in Portland District Court, West Bath District Court, or Bridgton District Court. (If you hire an attorney enough time in advance of your initial court date, your attorney can usually enter a "not guilty" plea on your behalf so you can avoid attending your first court date.)
In order for the State to actually obtain a conviction against you, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in fact committing the crime of OUI. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a far higher evidentiary standard for the State to establish than probable cause. In short, just because you have been charged with the crime of OUI, it does not necessarily mean that the State has enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is why it is critical to always consult with a OUI defense attorney prior to entering a guilty plea. Sometimes, evidence that may seem damaging to your case may be suppressible because the evidence was collected in violation of your Constitutional rights under the US Constitution and/or Maine Constitution. Further, certain evidence, such as flawed Intoxilyzer breath test results, blood tests, and urine tests can occasionally be excluded from evidence.
OUI convictions carry steep penalties and have a host of collateral consequences that can affect your life for years to come.
No two OUI cases are identical. Your friend may receive a “high test” .25 OUI and get a dismissal or a not guilty verdict due to evidentiary issues. Your other friend may get a .12 test OUI and not have the State willing to budge on plea negotiations due to your friend's extensive conviction history. Every case is unique.
During a consultation, I can usually provide a general idea of what to expect in terms of penalties you may be facing before you even receive the Prosecution's plea offer (Jail time? Enhanced fines?) I practice criminal defense almost exclusively in the Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket system. During law school, I worked as a student intern prosecutor in the Cumberland County DA’s office. While there, I handled numerous criminal charges, including many OUIs and driving offenses. I know what Prosecutors look for when they review and charge their cases. As a result of my experience prosecuting cases and now defending them, I provide clients with realistic expectations about their charge(s) prior to entering into representation.
Finally, I am able to carefully construct a defense strategy to meet your goals. No two cases are the same and individualized strategies are a must!
If you have questions about your pending charge and are searching for answers – there is no need to stress yourself out any longer. I am always happy to speak with you on the phone or in my office (by appointment) and answer your questions. To do so, please call 207-956-0542 or fill out the free OUI consultation form on the top of this page.