Maine Child Endangerment Charges Attorney
Defense Attorneys Serving Biddeford, Saco, Bangor, Augusta and Portland Areas
OUI is the term used in Maine to describe drunk driving. Other states use the terms DUI or DWI, but all of these terms refer to the same crime. Lawmakers all over the country look to crackdown on those who drink and drive, especially when they endanger the lives of others. When a driver is arrested for DUI and a child is present in the car, they can also be charged with child endangerment. Maine does not have specific laws that apply to child endangerment, but there are increased penalties for driving impaired with a minor. You can be arrested for OUI in Maine if one of two conditions apply:
- You are under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% (.08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood or 210 L of breath) or greater
- You are under the influence of an intoxicant (any natural or artificial chemical substance that, when taken into the human body, can impair the ability of the person to safely operate a motor vehicle.)
If police suspect that you are driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol or both, you will be arrested on suspicion of OUI. If you have a passenger in the car at the time of your arrest that is under the age of 21, you will face additional penalties. You will need an experienced OUI defense attorney.
Child Endangerment Lawyer in Maine
Endangering the Welfare of a Minor
Of the children killed in drunk driving accidents in one year, over 90% of them were passengers of a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. As alcohol causes the driver to suffer from impaired reasoning and concentration, they will be less likely to ensure that the child is properly restrained as well as focus on driving. This is considered a form of child abuse and those who violate this law could suffer from severe penalties. If you are accused of DUI in Maine and a minor is present in the car, you could also be charged with child endangerment. Not only does a child endangerment conviction mean more penalties, it can also cause you problems in the future in child custody cases.
Penalties of Child Endangerment in Maine
Unlike other states that consider minors under 14 subject to child endangerment, Maine states that a passenger under 21 is considered to be a minor. According to the Maine Revised Statutes §2411 (2003), there are certain offenses which require a a minimum of jail time. These include driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, driving at speeds 30 mph above the speed limit, attempting to evade the police officer, or having a passenger in the car that is under the age of 21. The Portland criminal justice system takes this offense very seriously.
A first or second OUI charge in a 10 year period is generally a Class D offense. Once you have had 2 or more OUI convictions within 10 years, all new charges will be Class C offenses. The penalties for these offenses include:
- First or Second Offense: These are Class D offenses with penalties of minimum fines of $600 for a first offense and $700 for a second. The fine will increase if a chemical sobriety test was refused. You will also face a license suspension of 90 days for a first offense and 3 years for a second offense. In addition, you will be sentenced to at least 48 hours of jail time for a first OUI offense if a passenger under 21 was present. A second offense will also land you 7 days in jail and alcohol or drug treatment.
- Third or More Offense: These offenses are Class C charges. Sentences include $1,100 in fines for a third offense and $2,100 for an y subsequent offenses. You will also face 30 days to six months of jail as well as 10 years of license suspension. Class C offenses include mandatory enrollment in drug or alcohol treatment and 4 or more prior convictions will result in installation of an ignition interlock system.
On top of these charges, you will receive an additional 275 days of license suspension if you are arrested for OUI and there is a minor under 21 in your vehicle.
Maine OUI Defense Lawyer
Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the minimum amount of time they will have to spend in jail is 48 hours. If they refused to submit to a field sobriety test or a breath and blood test, they will have to pay a $600 fine. If they submitted to alcohol testing, this fine will be reduced to $500. There will be an immediate court-ordered driver's license suspension for 90 days, but this will increase if there was a child in the car. If you have more questions regarding this offense, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our office. We will do everything in our power to protect you and your best interests.