Defense Attorneys for a Felony DUI in Maine
Serving the Regions of Portland, Bangor, Augusta, Saco and Biddeford
Any type of DUI charge in Maine can carry with it serious consequences. The most serious penalties, however, are associated with felony DUI charges. There are several circumstances in which a person can be charged with a felony DUI including having past DUI convictions and being charged with causing injuries while under the influence.
Maine laws do not specify which crimes are felonies and which are misdemeanors. Instead, a criminal classification system is in place that labels all crimes on a scale from A to E with A being the most serious classification and E being the least serious. Many people associate Class A, B and most C offenses as being felonies and Class D and E offenses as misdemeanors. The term ‘felony', however, has no real meaning in Maine law and is just used as a way to express which crimes lead to the steepest penalties.
What causes a Maine OUI to be considered a felony?
There are few reasons. One of the first reasons a person may be charged with a felony is if they have a past track record of previous drunk driving offenses. When you are arrested for suspicion of OUI in Maine, police will check your criminal history to look for past convictions. An OUI conviction will stay on your record for 10 years. If you are arrested again within 10 years, you will face steeper consequences. If you have one prior conviction, you will face steeper penalties but this is still a Class D crime. If however, you have 2 or more prior convictions, you will face Class C charges.
Another common reason for felony charges is if you are suspected of being under the influence and causing an accident where serious injury or death occur. If you cause an accident due to driving under the influence and a person is seriously hurt, you will be charged with a Class C crime. If a victim of an OUI accident loses their life due to injuries due to injuries you inflicted, you can be charged with a Class B offense. B is the highest class of charges that an OUI offense can result in.
The final way that you can receive Class C or B OUI charges in Maine is through your criminal record. If you have previously been convicted of Class B or C OUI or driving offense in the past ten years, all future OUI charges will result in Class C charges. For example, you are convicted for a Class C crime for drinking and driving and causing an accident where someone is gravely injured. Five years later you are stopped for running a stop sign and have a BAC of .10%. You will be charged with a Class B offense for this infraction.
Maine Felony OUI Penalties
Class C and Class B Felony
When it comes to felony charges in Maine, you can either be considered a Class C or Class B felon. Class C felonies usually carry less steep penalties, but are still much harsher than those associated with misdemeanors. A Class C felony can be prosecuted with a minimum of 30 days in jail, four year license suspension and a fine of $1,000. It is important to remember that this is the minimum sentencing and it is likely for many to face higher consequences. Hiring a Maine DUI attorney is the best way to fight any type of DUI charges. Even if you decide to plead guilty or believe you will lose your trial, an experienced felony DUI attorney will make sure your sentence is as lenient as possible and that you are treated fairly.
A Class B felony occurs when a driver has a previous DUI felony conviction or causes an accident that leads to a death. The repercussions may include up to ten years in prison, ten year license suspension without the ability to request a work-only license, $20,000 in fines and three years of probation. In addition, those that are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol may be asked to submit to testing. Refusal of these tests can lead to an automatic increase in penalties on top of a felony conviction. Regardless of the class, a felony conviction of any type will remain on your criminal record and have negative effects on your career or educational aspirations.
Maine OUI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing felony DUI charges in Maine, we understand your situation. Our lawyers work with clients just like you who have been charged with DUI and felony DUI. Our lawyers build strong defenses clients and work to get charges reduced or dropped altogether. Though this is not always possible, a strong defense can help to get a plea bargain or a ‘not guilty' verdict in the event that your case goes to trial.
If you need an OUI defense attorney in Maine, call us now.