Being charged with the crime of Operating Under the Influence (OUI) can leave people feeling scared, embarrassed, and unsure of what to do next.
First, if you have not already done so, respectfully assert your right to remain silent. Depending on your particular circumstances, it may be too late. However, if the police have any follow up questions, it is wise to decline to speak with them.
In Maine, Operating Under the Influence is a very serious charge. Being a primarily rural state, we all rely heavily on our license and personal vehicles. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will likely be sending you a suspension letter shortly after you have been charged with OUI. Make sure you confirm with them that your current address matches the address on file. You can be charged with additional crimes if you are found to be operating a vehicle while having a suspended license, even if you did not receive notice that your license was suspended. It is your responsibility to confirm that the BMV is sending mail to the correct address.
At some point you need to decide whether you are going to (1) hire an attorney, (2) apply for an unknown attorney appointed by the court, or (3) defend yourself. It goes without saying, but people who defend themselves are at a severe disadvantage. The State’s prosecutor is an experienced attorney, who wants to get a conviction, a fine, and possibly put you in jail. It is highly recommended that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer with specific expertise defending operating under the influence charges.
Interview multiple lawyers, and don’t be persuaded by fancy websites. Instead, ask about their recent experience with OUI cases. Ask if they’re familiar with the mandatory consequences from both the court and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Ask if they’ve won any OUI trials recently. Or if they’ve had any recent criminal trials, at all. These are very important questions!
The sooner you retain an attorney, the better chance you have at getting the results you desire. Attorney Eric Thistle regularly represents individuals that have been charged with Operating Under the Influence in York and Cumberland Counties. Call today for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.
Located in the Town of Lyman, we proudly serve clients throughout York County, including those in Alfred, Arundel, Berwick, Biddeford, Buxton, Eliot, Hollis, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lebanon, Lyman, North Berwick, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Sanford, Shapleigh, South Berwick, Springvale, Waterboro, and Wells.