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OUI: A Criminal Defense Specialty

Posted by Nathan Hitchcock | Aug 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

            One of the surprising facts about OUI cases is just how complex they are. Like any criminal case, a criminal defense attorney needs to determine if a violation of your constitutional rights occurred at any stage of the police investigation. Law enforcement can potentially violate your constitutional rights from the moment they pull you over to after you submit to a chemical test. However, OUI cases have many other issues that only pertain to OUI cases; issues that the standard criminal defense attorney has not taken the time to learn and litigate these issues. One of these issues involves field sobriety tests. There are at least a dozen different tests, both standardized and non-standardized, that law enforcement officers use to determine potential impairment. Each of these tests include specific instructions on how it must be administered, and each test's results signify a different indication of impairment to law enforcement. If law enforcement fails to perform these tests exactly as instructed, they can signal false clues of impairment, which law enforcement relies on when arresting someone for OUI. Only an experienced OUI attorney will take the time to study each individual field sobriety test to determine if they are performed correctly. An experienced OUI attorney will also know what outside factors (medical conditions, environmental conditions) can trigger false or exaggerated results on field sobriety tests.

            Another issue, which is often overlooked by inexperienced criminal defense attorneys involves breath tests and blood tests. These tests are regularly performed in OUI cases, whereas most other types of criminal cases do not rely on alcohol tests in order to prove guilt. Just like field sobriety tests, law enforcement must follow specific instructions to obtain a proper result in each of these tests. An experienced OUI attorney will not only know and understand how these tests are performed as well as the specific protocols but will know how to properly frame and argue the impact a poorly administered breath or blood test has on a case to a jury or judge. Experienced OUI attorneys also understand and are familiar with the outside factors that can skew chemical test results.

            OUI cases are based in large part on the physiological, biological, and chemical impact alcohol has on an individual while they were operating a vehicle. It is not illegal to drink and then drive, only to drive while impaired. An experienced OUI attorney will understand how to litigate a case where the State alleges a driver was impaired to show that, while the driver may have had a drink or two, he or she was not operating while impaired.

            OUI cases are highly complicated, and while some criminal defense attorneys may know a few of these issues, only an experienced attorney specializing in OUI defense will take the time to learn each individual detail of an OUI case. An experienced OUI attorney will give an OUI case a much more thorough review to ensure sure his or her clients are shielded from law enforcement's violations of their rights, and poorly administered tests. People who end up with an OUI conviction can face many consequences like license suspensions and jail, so it is important to hire an experienced OUI attorney to protect your way of life.

            Over the years, the attorneys at WTB LAW have found that initially, a potential client focuses more on the cost for representation and often fails to think about the long-term consequences an OUI conviction has on their lives. Hiring a criminal defense attorney with little to no focus on OUI defense or worse, representing yourself, is a mistake often realized too late. A quality, thorough representation by an OUI defense attorney is invaluable when you're facing the potential of a long-term license suspension, jail, loss of job, immigration consequences and more. If you find yourself concerned about the impact of any of these potential consequences, invest in your future by hiring an OUI defense attorney to make sure all issues are thoroughly vetted and explored and do not risk the chance that a general attorney will miss a significant issue in your case.

            The attorneys of WTB LAW are dedicated to give the best representation on OUI cases and specialize in OUI defense. Both Attorney Bly and myself have taken the time to explore the fine details of OUI representation, details that the standard criminal defense attorney does not take the time to learn. In addition to furthering my knowledge of case law to protect my client's rights, I've taken the time to fully review the law enforcement manuals on both administering field sobriety tests and breath tests. In July of this year, I was one of three Maine attorneys who attended the 2018 Summer Session of the National College of DUI Defense, hosted at Harvard Law School. During this seminar, I learned trial techniques specific to OUI cases from some of the greatest OUI attorneys in the country. These types of courses focus on trial techniques taught by extraordinary attorneys from around the country that are specific to OUI & DUI cases. This course, in particular, focused on workshopping cross-examination techniques, opening and closing statements, and focusing on blood testing issues. The knowledge gained will prove invaluable for my clients going forward. In just a few months, I will train for my certification in administering field sobriety tests. I will learn from the same materials as law enforcement on how to administer field sobriety tests, which will give me a deeper understanding of the consequences of poorly administering these tests. Like Attorney Bly, I take the time to delve into the finer details of OUI defense because I believe it is important to fully understand what my clients face. When the stakes of an OUI conviction are high, I want to do the best job possible and make sure no stone is unturned.

            If you are facing an OUI charge, invest in your future and hire an attorney who takes the time to specialize in the complicated area of OUI defense. Call the attorneys of WTB LAW for an immediate consultation.

About the Author

Nathan Hitchcock

Nathaniel H. Hitchcock's practice is devoted solely to defending persons accused of committing criminal offenses. As an associate attorney at WTB LAW, Attorney Hitchcock works closely with Attorney William Bly, who is recognized statewide as a skilled and fierce advocate in the courtroom. Attorney Hitchcock regularly attends seminars and training focused on effectively defending a wide variety of criminal case types.

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