Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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By: Webb Law Maine Intern Ronahn Clarke

OUI roadblocks are checkpoints near me where police officers stop every vehicle—or a certain number of vehicles at random—to search for intoxicated drivers. These DUI roadblocks appear more frequently around holidays, when driving under the influence is more common.

This legal article explores a driver’s right to not pass through the police checkpoint. So long as no traffic crime is committed, a citizen can opt to not wait for the line of drivers to be checked and depart in the opposite direction.

By Webb Law Firm, With Law Offices Near Me in Portland Maine and SaView postco ME

No other nation besides the United States has the Fourth Amendment protections that require a police officer to have information of a crime having been committed before “seizing” a person. When a driver is on the highway, the act of a government law officer seizing that person happens by signaling with emergency lights, using siren or even hand signals, to pull over.

Since the US Supreme Court clarified the issue in 1961, in Mapp v. Ohio, the federal constitutional rule applies to both state and federal officers. Many of the nation’s best criminal cases have been appeals from DUI-OUI arrests made after an officer acted on a hunch, and did not have reasonable suspicion.

IMG_1864-300x200You may feel as though your privacy is being violated if your neighbor installs a security camera which—inadvertently or otherwise—captures activity in your yard. Yet there are no laws in Maine which prevent a person from installing cameras pointing outwards from their own property.

The law does not treat your backyard or the outside of your home as spaces where you have the reasonable expectation of privacy. Your neighbor is allowed to visually record you in these spaces for the same reason that Google can take satellite images of your land.

If you find yourself in this situation and are uncomfortable, you may try speaking with your neighbor or installing something on your own property to block the camera’s view. These solutions are of course more likely to be effective if your neighbor is well intentioned and your property simply appears in the background of their recording.

IMG_1832x-286x300In Maine, your income makes no difference in how much your ticket will cost. The fine scale is predetermined and applies evenly to everyone, which seems reasonable. But is it really fair? That all depends on who you are and how much money you make. For some, a speeding ticket could be devastating and for others, it could be nothing more than a slight annoyance.

Lets say that you are driving on the interstate with a speed limit of 60MPH and you get a ticket for going 75MPH. The cost for this tickets will likely be around $200. According to datausa.io, the median household income in Maine is around $55,000 a year. That means that this ticket would be 4.36% of your household income for the month. This would perhaps be a difficult hit, but at the end of the day, would not be the end of the world. It would probably be a good incentive to be more careful and to drive slower in the future. This is exactly the hope of the law makers who set the fee scale for the ticket.

But now lets say that the NFL commissioner gets the same $200 ticket while he is at vacation house in Maine. His income, according to USA Today, is around $40,000,000 a year. That would mean the same ticket would be 0.006% of his monthly income. That type of punishment would be the equivalent of the person making $55,000 a year getting a ticket for around 28 Cents. Is there really any incentive there to follow the speed limit? There are other penalties such as possible license suspension that come with enough points on your license. But if your income is high enough, paying a driver a full time salary would be a realistic option. That is obviously not an alternative for the average Mainer.

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Temporary order

The first thing you need to be aware of is if there is a temporary order in place when you are served the order. A temporary protection order takes effect as soon as it is signed by a judge. However, the defendant must have actual notice of the temporary order, or have been served with the order, in order to be charged with a crime for violating it. Even if you feel that the allegations are false and the case is eventually found in your favor, the temporary order still must be respected or you could face criminal charges. For example, if the temporary order prohibits you from entering a home you shared with the plaintiff, you will be charged with a crime if you enter the house, even if the plaintiff has invited you. Violation of a temporary protection order is a Class D crime that carries penalties of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Difference between harassment and abuse order

Maine OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb

After getting an OUI/DUI in Maine, there are often lots of questions that may come into your mind.  Most of them have answers that can be found as you search for legal services.  One question that cannot be answered online is how much does a Maine OUI cost?

Specifically, how much are court fines, OUI school, attorney’s fees, and license reinstatement fees? How much is an ignition interlock device installed on my car? What if I lose my job? What if an OUI on my record keeps me from getting a new job?

Let’s break down these expenses one by one:

IMG_1864-300x200What should I do first?

You should call a lawyer right away. If you have not been arrested but think you might be soon, your lawyer could set up an arrangement to allow you to turn yourself in rather than have the PD show up to your house or even your job. If the PD is reaching out to you to get your side of the story, you should not speak to them without a lawyer present. This may be your chance to give your side of the story, but it is more likely that things will only get worse after this interview.

What should I do to help my case?

Maine’s Move Over Law: Safety for Police Officers and Safety for You

Saco and Portland Maine Criminal Lawyer Katherine Campbell

By: Maine Criminal Defense Attorney Katherine M. Campbell

It is well known that when you see an emergency vehicle driving up behind you with its lights or siren activated, you pull over. But one important law that many motorists fail to follow is Maine’s “Move Over” law which also requires you to move over when an emergency vehicle is stationary on the side of the road.

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You’ve been stopped and arrested for Operating Under the Influence of alcohol (OUI/DUI/DWI). You posted bail, and now you’re home. You’re terrified and have no idea where things go from here. All you did was drive your motor vehicle! You cannot believe you got a first offense DUI in Maine. At work everyone asks, “A drunk driving charge? Is this your first OUI?”

What were your test results? Blood alcohol level? Breath test? Blood test? Refusal? What are the first offense OUI penalties? If this summons for OUI/DUI/DWI is a subsequent offense to other significant driving convictions, we’ll be discussing them in a future blog. But for now, let’s take a minute and talk about the Maine first DUI.

When you are charged with a first offense in Maine, you actually have two cases going on at the same time. I try to get clients to visualize two trains on parallel tracks leaving the station together. On one track you have the court (the judge, the clerks, the DA’s Office), and on the other track you have the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. In most cases, long before the arraignment date for your court case (Plead not guilty!), the Bureau of Motor Vehicles BMV (also commonly known as “DMV”) will send you a Notice of Suspension. This is where we discuss loss of license. If you have not contacted a law firm at this point, you should do so now.

Portland Maine Saco Criminal Defense Lawyer John Webb
By: John S. Webb, Top-Rated Lawyer in Maine: Offices in Portland ME & Saco ME

Posted: March 2, 2021

Facing criminal charges turns a person’s world upside down. The accused person’s plans are thrown into a cauldron of uncertainty, fear of the unknown, and often a deep sense of regret. Taking on the responsibility for relentlessly investigating to find solutions for our clients is why our Maine criminal defense lawyers exist.

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