Location of Court
If you get charged with operating under the influence (OUI) in Penobscot County, your case will be handled in the Penobscot County Judicial Center, in downtown Bangor, Maine. The courthouse is located at 78 Exchange Street, in a three story, red brick building. On the outside, the main entrance is shaped like a soda can, and has the words “Penobscot Judicial Center” around the top. You can get driving directions using Google Maps, but they're also available on the court's website.
There are several options for parking at the Penobscot County Judicial Center. Most of the parking can be found on the street, but it's limited to one hour, there. While parking is not strictly enforced on the streets – you'll probably be able to escape a ticket if you're not parking illegally on a regular basis – you may want to look into other options, if you don't want to keep moving your car every 60 minutes.
If you're looking for alternatives to street parking, there is a parking lot across the street. It's an outdoor lot, but is incredibly cheap – only 50 cents per hour. However, it's a small lot – only 18 spots – and can fill up quickly. If you want to claim one of those spots, you'll have to get to the court early. If you're unable to secure a spot on the street or this side lot, there are several parking garages in the area nearby.
There are four courtrooms on the second floor of the Penobscot County Judicial Center, and another one on the first floor. There's also a court clerk's office on each floor. Most of the trials take place in one of the courtrooms on the second floor.
The Judicial Center is a very modern courthouse. The courtrooms are extremely high-tech. Attorneys can hook up a Mac or Windows computer and do a presentation, show videos or photos, or run other programs on a large projector screen that drops down from the ceiling. In addition to the projection screen, there are also individual computer monitors in front of the presiding judge and each member of the jury. The additional technological capabilities of the Penobscot County Judicial Center allow attorneys to flex their muscles a bit more for their clients, and use the technology to deliver their arguments with much more emphasis.
Process and Prosecutors
Unfortunately, the legal process of an OUI in Penobscot County is very straight forward: You can either plead guilty, or take the case to trial. District Attorney Chris Almy has a strict “no negotiation” policy when it comes to dealing with OUI charges. Any prosecutor on his staff who drops down an OUI charge to something else knows that they'll be looking for a new job, very soon. In one sense, Mr. Almy's policy against plea deals makes OUIs in Penobscot County simple – without a negotiation process, the case goes straight to trial.