As if the criminal process for operating under the influence (OUI) wasn't already complex enough, with its administrative and criminal aspects, things get even more complicated if you're arrested and charged for drunk driving and you have a driver's license from a state other than Maine. Now there are multiple states involved, both of which are interested in suspending your license. How things work out varies greatly, depending on which state your driver's license belongs to. You will almost certainly need two different OUI defense attorneys to help you through the process – one in Maine, and another in your home state.
Here's what Maine will do, if you get charged for OUI in our state, but have a different state's driver's license.
Maine will charge you for drunk driving, and your case will go before one of the courts in Maine. This means that a Maine prosecutor will handle your case, a Maine judge will hear it, and you'll have to defend it in Maine. This can be a huge hassle if you're from out of state, especially if you're from out of the Northeast, and may require you to travel back to Maine to make a court appearance. In this way, the criminal process for an out-of-state license is the same as it is for a Maine resident.
The administrative process, however, is much different if you're from out of state. Maine has no power to suspend your license if it wasn't issued by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. However, nearly all states in the U.S. participate in the National Driver Registry (NDR), which is a database of traffic violations from across the country. States use the NDR to share information about which licenses have been suspended, and why.
Maine is one of these states. They'll share your OUI charge with your home state, and your home state can take action, as well, which could mean that you'll face legal issues in your home state, as well as in Maine. It typically also means that your home state will suspend your license for your Maine OUI. This is where you would need to consult an OUI defense attorney in your home state. Because each state handles OUI law differently, there are going to be little eccentricities in your home state that a Maine OUI attorney would not be aware of, but that your local OUI lawyer would understand perfectly. However, If you find yourself in this predicament and you've retained the law office of William T Bly, we will consult with an attorney from your home state to determine what if any impact, a conviction or suspension will have upon your home state driver's license.
Having an out-of-state license can greatly complicate the OUI process. However, this is not a reason to throw in the towel – the penalties for pleading guilty to a Maine OUI charge are still very harsh. Putting up a fight and challenging your OUI charges in Maine are the best way to avoid having to deal with the penalties of a conviction.
If you've been charged with OUI in Maine, but have an out-of-state license, call OUI defense attorney William T. Bly. He understands the difficulties you're facing, and will vigorously defend your interests. Call his law office at (207) 571-8146, or contact him online to start planning your defense.