In certain circumstances, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Maine is considered a felony. This is a very serious charge that requires legal representation by criminal defense lawyers. Maine has mandatory minimum sentencing for OUI felonies, and judges can impose even harsher sentences if they so choose. The individual faces the risk of a lengthy incarceration sentence as well as driver’s license revocation for many months.
A third OUI offense within 10 years is considered a felony in this state. The individual is viewed as a habitual offender who is dangerous to others. Since most people who are convicted of OUI only are ever charged one time, having three or more convictions is taken extremely seriously in the legal system. A conviction of this third offense leads to an automatic driver’s license revocation lasting six years, although the person may be allowed to drive with an ignition interlock device after three years. That device prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver fails a breath test. In this case, there must be no trace of alcohol. The state at this point has essentially determined that the individual may never get his or her drinking under control, so driving privileges are first removed and later restricted. In rare instances, people continue to drink and drive even after their third conviction. They figure out ways to get around the ignition interlock by borrowing someone else’s vehicle or by having a friend breathe into the device for them.
A person who has been charged with OUI in Maine for the third time in 10 years will want to contact an OUI lawyer for a consultation as soon as possible. Even if there is no way to avoid conviction, an organization such as Webb Law Firm is integral to preventing the direst consequences from happening. The mandatory minimum incarceration sentence for this third offense in Maine is 40 days, but a judge is allowed to impose an incarceration sentence of up to five years. An OUI attorney provides aggressive legal defense to convince a judge that the client should not receive a sentence this extreme.