Once you have reviewed the legal process surrounding a charge of operating under the influence, you may wonder what happens if you are convicted. This is a broad subject, and can be looked at from at least two different perspectives. We will discuss the two most important herein, but if you have further questions you should probably seek the help of an experienced OUI attorney.
First, you may wonder what sentence you can expect. This varies greatly, depending on a variety of factors. This may include, but is not limited to the presence of other OUI convictions within a ten-year period, serious injuries, property damage, fatalities, presence of mitigating factors, and more. It can also depend on whether an accident was involved, and if you refused to submit to sobriety testing.
If you had an outstanding warrant, the charge that the warrant is based on will often be completely separated from the OUI charge. Therefore, the trial and penalty phases would be in addition to what you are already going through.
Second, you may wonder how your life will be impacted by the presence of the conviction. In Maine, an OUI conviction lasts forever; meaning that if you try to rent a vehicle, apply to rent a home or apartment, fill out a job application requiring a background check, or get government aid, the OUI may count against you. If you caused serious injuries, fatalities, or extensive property damage, it may take years to pay the restitution fees. In many cases, not even declaring bankruptcy will absolve you of the fine(s).
It also has the potential to affect your family as well. If your name was spread across newspapers or television, your family could suffer for your mistakes along with you, often being victims of immense social stigma for years after the arrest and trial periods are over. The stigma is worse for children in many cases, especially those old enough to understand what caused the problem in the first place.
To avoid these complications, choose not to operate a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. If you are arrested for OUI in Maine, contact a skilled attorney right away to discuss possible defense strategies for your case.