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Maine Felony OUI

12th May 2010
By William Bly in Legal
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Although an OUI, operating under the influence of alcohol, offense may seem relatively minor, the state of Maine treats it as very serious. Your first offense is a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions, as is the second in a ten-year period, even though each of these misdemeanor offenses is punished harshly to discourage repeat offenses. However, subsequent charges and/or convictions within a ten-year period are much more serious, and can change the rest of your life.

If you are charged with OUI three times within ten years, you face a felony OUI charge, normally carrying up to five years in prison (yes, state prison), five thousand dollars in fines, and a year of probation. This increases exponentially if there are aggravating factors like excessive speeding, gross injuries or fatalities, or serious property damage. In addition, the minimum amount of time in jail is a month, more if you refused BAC testing, and more than one thousand dollars in fines. You will not even be allowed to register a vehicle in the state of Maine, let alone drive one. Your driving privileges are completely lost for six years, unless you agree to install an ignition interlock device midway through the penalty phase.

Fourth and fifth OUI charges are extremely serious, especially if there are accidents, serious injuries, or fatalities. These are treated as Class B felony OUIs, and carry up to ten years in prison, more than two thousand dollars in fines, and a loss of driving privileges for ten years. Most individuals do not have the option to install an IID after this many convictions, but the decision is based on an individual circumstance basis.

Regardless of whether the sixth offense comes within ten years, it is always treated as a felony OUI, Class B. In addition to the ten-year possible prison term, the fine is increased to three thousand dollars or more, the cessation of all driving privileges for the rest of your life, and more in some cases. If someone dies as a result of a sixth OUI, you face up to twenty years in a state prison, twenty thousand dollars in fines, and a mandatory lifetime loss of driving privileges.

As you can see, an OUI is very serious in the state of Maine. If you are facing a third or subsequent OUI charge, it is critical to contact a skilled OUI lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and begin building a successful defense in your case. Do not try to navigate the court system by yourself, talk to a lawyer early to discuss your options. A felony on your record can affect you for the rest of your life, and it can also affect your family, so do not wait until it is too late.

This information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.
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