Legal Defense for OUI Aggravating Circumstances in Maine
Serving the Biddeford, Saco, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland Areas
If you are stopped by police in Maine with a BAC over .08%, or displaying evidence of drug intoxication, you can be arrested for OUI. On its own, a DUI conviction can have a lot of negative consequences. Even a first time DUI can result in probation, community service, fines and more. To make matters worse, if certain factors are involved in your arrest, you can face even steeper penalties. These are referred to as aggravating circumstances and they can lead to serious consequences and even felony charges on top of your DUI offense.
Maine OUI Aggravating Factors
There are several aggravating factors that can affect your DUI charges. The more circumstances that are involved in your arrest, the more serious the charges. Most first time DUI offenses will not result in jail time unless an aggravating factor in involved. Anything that makes your drunk driving case more complicated or shows that you were exceptionally negligent can be considered an aggravating circumstance. Some of the most common aggravating factors include the following situations.
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for an adult driver over 21 in Maine is .08%. A BAC of .15% or over is considered to be exceptionally high. If you are arrested for OUI and have a BAC over .15%, you face extra punishment for driving under while very intoxicated. Additional penalties for high BAC offenders include a minimum of 48 hours in jail.
Another common factor that can increase OUI charges and lead to at least 48 hours of jail time is driving at excessive speeds while under the influence. In fact, many DUI arrests begin as speeding stops. If you are stopped by police for driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit, you could be charged with excessive speeding.
Attempting to Elude Police
If a police officer attempts to stop you and you are concerned about being found under the influence or for any other reason, you can face additional consequences for attempting to escape arrest. These charges can also apply to a hit and run situation where you caused an accident and then attempted to leave the scene because you were intoxicated. First-time OUI offenders will have to serve an additional 48 hours in jail for attempted to escape arrest.
DUI drivers who have minors in the vehicle with them can face many other charges such as child endangerment. Though there is no separate charge in Maine for endangering a child, the law does include anyone under the legal drinking age as a minor. If you are stopped by police for driving under the influence with a passenger under 21 years of age, you can face additional penalties including an extra 275 days of license suspension in addition to your DUI sentence. If it is your first OUI offense, you will also have to serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail.
Implied Consent Violation
When you are accused of OUI in Maine, police will ask you to take perform sobriety testing. Tests like field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests can be declined without penalty. You will also be asked to take a State-administered chemical sobriety test. If you refuse this test, you will be in violation of your implied consent agreement and face 275 days if license suspension. In addition, a refusal can be considered an aggravating factor if you are convicted of DUI and can lead to a sentence of at least 96 hour in jail.
If you have been previously convicted of a DUI offense within the past 10 years, the penalties you face for each new DUI will be greater. If you have two or more prior convictions in this period, you will be charged with a Class C OUI which can lead to 6 months of jail time and over $2,000 in fines. A prior conviction can also complicate your DUI by prohibiting you from getting a limited driving permit if you license is suspended.
A past Class C or B OUI or driving related conviction can also affect your charges. If you have been convicted of a C or B class offense within the past 10 years of a new OUI arrest, you will be charged with Class B OUI regardless of the circumstances of the recent arrest.
Maine Aggravated OUI Attorney
We work to not only assist you with the DUI process but also to help you build a strong defense. The experienced defense lawyers at WTB Law examine every aspect of your case and explain to you the potential ramifications of your situation. We then work to get your charges reduced and get you the best results possible.
If you have been arrested for OUI in Maine and aggravating factors were also involved, call our Maine OUI firm immediately.