Maine DUI / OUI Injuries Attorney
Serving the Areas of Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Saco and Biddeford
When a serious accident occurs and someone is injured, the driver has a responsibility to report it to the proper authorities in a timely manner. Under most circumstances, the police will automatically check the drivers of all vehicles involved for signs of intoxication. If a driver is found to be under the influence and as a result caused an accident, they will be charged for OUI.
In order to be charged with Operating Under the Influence or OUI in Maine, you need to either have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or the presence of drugs in your system. If either of these are true and you are accused of causing an accident that resulted in injury or death, you will face serious OUI penalties.
Maine OUI Injury Law
If you are arrested for OUI and an accident was caused where drivers or passengers were seriously injured, you could be held responsible. This is considered a Class C offense. The penalties for an OUI accident include the standard penalty for an OUI conviction, with the addition of:
- A minimum of 6 months of jail time
- A minimum fine of $2,100
- 6 years of court-ordered license suspension
Under Maine law, criminal code §2411, these penalties cannot be suspended, which means if you are found guilty of OUI with injury, you will be sentenced to this jail time, fine and license suspension and you must serve them.
Vehicular Homicide Charges
In the unfortunate situation that you are driving under the influence and cause an accident where a life is lost, you could face vehicular homicide charges.
OUI criminal law states that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing the death of another driver or passenger is a Class B offense. The penalties for this crime include:
- A minimum of 6 months of jail time and a maximum of 10 years
- A minimum fine of $2,100 and a maximum of $20,000
- 10 years of court-ordered license suspension
Just like with OUI injuries, you must serve this sentence if you are found guilty of this crime. The law only states a minimum and maximum sentence, depending on the factors of your case; a judge ultimately will determine what sentence you will get if you are found guilty.
Maine Felony DUI Lawyer
Maine no longer uses the terms felony or misdemeanor to categorize crimes. Instead, it uses a classification system based on 5 classes of crimes. Generally, Class A and B crimes are felonies. Class A charges are issued for a having multiple DUI convictions within a ten year period, along with a conviction for a drunk driving accident that caused a serious injury. There are differing degrees of an injury that can be sustained in an accident and the penalties for causing a more serious injury will be greater than the typical DUI accident. They can include between six months in jail and five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, a license suspension up to six years, installation of an interlock device which will further restrict the ability of an individual to drive if they are found to have alcohol in their system and a loss of the right to register a vehicle.
A felony charge will also be listed on the criminal record of the person that is convicted. This type of conviction can damage the life of a suspect in many ways. Educational institutions and businesses perform background checks before admitting or hiring individuals. Many times a felony conviction will be grounds for rejection without even giving you a chance to explain.
OUI Injury Lawyer in Maine
Being accused of a DUI is stressful enough, but if you are involved in a DUI accident where injuries have occurred, the consequences can be even greater. All instances involving an OUI charge need to be taken serious. There are, however, various circumstances that are considered with an even greater level of importance. When driving under the influence it can be challenging for a driver to correctly maneuver a car. In many cases this may lead to an accident. Not every accident is the result of drunk driving and sometimes those that are involved in one can be wrongly accused of being under the influence when the accident was simply a mistake.
Challenging the evidence is important since the findings of a field sobriety test, blood test or breath test can be inaccurate. A conviction for drinking and driving will come with varying consequences such as fines or license suspension. There are different degrees of a conviction that are dependent on the factors of each specific case. Those charges that include an injury to another individual, whether they were in your car, another car or not in a vehicle at all, can significantly increase the stakes in a case. If you are facing a DUI charge after a serious accident, you are going to want the best legal care available. The Law Office of William T. Bly has the experience to defend you against serious charges.
If you have been charged with a OUI in Maine, call us now.