Location of Court
If you get arrested and charged for operating under the influence (OUI) – or any criminal matter – in the southern part of York County, including the towns of Kittery, York, Wells, and the Berwicks, your case will be heard at the York District Court. The York District Court is located at 11 Chases Pond Road, in York, Maine, in a light-colored, two story building with white columns and trim. It is conveniently located right off of I-95, at exit 7 (old exit 4). Driving directions can be found on Google Maps, or on the court's website.
The York District Court is a small one, almost a satellite or outpost court. The parking lot in front of the building is small, but is nearly always sufficient for the court's day-to-day needs. There is no cost to park there, and the spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. In the rare event that all the spots are taken in this lot in front of the building, there's a Maine Turnpike Authority commuter lot located about an eighth of a mile away, right off of Chases Pond Road. Parking for court business is located in the front of the building ONLY. The side of the building is reserved for court personnel, members of the DA's Office and local police officers with court business.
The York District Court, again, is a small courthouse. While there are two floors, the second is closed to the public, and doesn't seem to have been used in years. There are only two courtrooms on the first floor. Once through the security area, you'll pass through a set of double glass doors. Because your OUI charge is a criminal charge, you'll be in the criminal courtroom. Once through the double glass doors, this courtroom is down a short hallway on your right.
If you need to see the court clerk, you'll find their office immediately upon going through court security. Generally, there's only a single clerk there to help a long line of people, so you'll have to be patient while the clerk helps those in front of you.
The first thing you'll see when you enter the courthouse is the security area. You'll be screened for weapons and contraband. As this courthouse handles so many criminal cases, this is seen as a necessity. You'll be required to empty your pockets and walk through a metal detector, so make sure you're not carrying any weapons, or anything illegal, or your court appearance can quickly turn into another arrest and a future visit, as well. If necessary, you may find yourself "wander" by court security.
Once through the security area, you'll pass through a set of double glass doors, and will take a right down a short hallway to the criminal courtroom. While in the courtroom, make sure you take off your hat and turn off your cell phone. If your cell phone rings or makes any noise during court proceedings, court security will confiscate it and won't make it available for you to reclaim until 4pm. Also, food and drinks are prohibited in the courtroom. Commonsense and good manners is the best advice to follow when speaking with the judge. Always address the judge as "Your Honor" or "Sir". Never say "ah huh" or "yup" to a judge. It's considered extremely disrespectful.
If you're representing yourself, you'll have an opportunity to discuss your case with the district attorney later in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on the time of your court appearance. The district attorney's office is located at the opposite end of the hall from the criminal courtroom , to your left, if you're standing at the double glass doors. To speak with the district attorney, you'll have to put your name on a list that you'll find outside the district attorney's office, and wait for your name to be called. Unfortunately, there's no seating outside the district attorney's office, and the wait can run for an hour or longer, so you may be standing for quite awhile. Bring a book or something to amuse yourself while you're waiting, and it will pass by more quickly.
The York County District Attorney's Office is run by a very reasonable group of people. There are two primary assistant district attorneys in the York office who are responsible for handling all criminal matters. However, if your case involves a speeding ticket, you won't be dealing with one of these assistant district attorneys. Instead, you'll be dealing directly with the police officer or state trooper who issued you the summons to appear in court. This can make negotiations much more difficult, and uncomfortable.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the process of dealing with your OUI charge in the York District Court, don't hesitate to contact the law office of William T. Bly at (207) 571-8146.