Articles Posted in Maine Criminal Law

In this aticle, the abbreviations “D.U.I.” and O.U.I.” are used interchangeably. The reason for that is DUI is the most widely used acronym for the crime of drunk driving, but the Maine Legislature named our driving under the influence law “operating” under the influence, which is the OUI meaning. The DUI meaning is “driving under the influence.” 

The OUI legal consequences can be increased by certain behavior or circumstances associated with this specific arrest, which can cause an aggravated OUI Maine. Far too many attorneys in Maine don’t know how to successfully fight a first time DUI offense in Maine.  

In many of our Portland DUI arrests, lawyers lure a person to hire them by quoting a low fee, only to “fold the tent” and plead the client guilty to OUI without any meaningful “fight.” This is not how our legal team members approach driving while intoxicated defense, because the person could have done that without a lawyer! 

The State of Maine updated its laws is a new way to classify crimes. Instead of just misdemeanors and felonies, there are now five different classes of crimes in the Pine Tree State. In most places, criminal offenses are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. But in Maine, the State uses a different structure of criminal punishment.

Our state’s criminal offenses are divided into five classes: A, B, C, D, and E.

Each class of crime has its own maximum punishment. Class A crimes bring the most severe punishments. For example, A, B, and C crimes are felony offenses, with C class crimes being the least punitive of the felony classification crimes. Crime classes D and E are misdemeanor crimes, with potential jail sentences capped at 364 days. This means there are more options for a wide variety of punishments. It’s important to know which class your charges fall into and what penalties you could face. An example would be an arrest for possession of marijuana which is a serious criminal charge that one of our Saco and Portland criminal lawyers can handle for you. Or you may be facing an operating under the influence of alcohol charge (OUI-Alcohol) even if you blew under a 0.08 on the breathalyzer machine.

Maine criminal lawyer John Webb explains what makes a traffic stop legal in Portland and Saco Maine.
By Webb Law Firm, With Law Offices Near Me in Portland Maine and Saco 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 lawyers near me made after an officer acted on a hunch, and did not have reasonable suspicion.

By Maine OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb Serving Saco and Portland ME

Maine criminal defense lawyer John Webb explains how marijuana has become legal but only in certain situations.
OUI roadblocks near me are sobriety checkpoints 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 these license checks near me. 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.

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, 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.

A Maine protection order is issued in an effort to protect a spouse or girlfriend from further harrassment and physical abuse by their partner.  These domestic violence orders also can protect any children involved. The no contact order specifies the distance that one person must stay away from the filing party, for example 50 yards. This legal document also lists the prohibited means of communication like no phone calls, no Facebook messages, and no other social media contact.

What If a Temporary Order Is Already in Place?

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.

best-criminal-lawyer-400x284-1-300x213What Charges Affect Student Loans?

If you have been charged with a violation, you are probably wondering where else this charge may affect you, other than with the law. One area that you may be affected is through schooling. If you are incarcerated, you would have limited eligibility for the federal student aid program. But once you are released, many of those limitations are removed. There are, however, a few charges that limit your aid eligibility even after being released.

If you are receiving or applying for federal student aid, there is a chance that past criminal charges may affect you. For instance, the FAFSA, a form used by many college students to apply for federal financial aid for college or graduate school, will ask whether you have had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving aid. If your answer to this question is “yes,” you will be provided with a worksheet to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. This does not necessarily mean that you are entirely ineligible to receive federal funding, but it may mean that you are ineligible for a certain period of time.

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Maine Attorney John Webb

Disclaimer: Welcome to the Webb Law Firm OUI Podcast. This podcast does not create an attorney – client relationship. You will not become a client until a written contract is agreed to between the host and listener. This podcast conveys only general legal information. Every legal situation is different due to changing laws and the facts of the case. If you have a question, do not hesitate to call us at (207) 283-6400.

SO TODAY we’re going to have a general discussion about arraignments. Just to review, in Maine, class A, B, & C crimes are felony crimes that are punishable by a year or more in prison. Class D & E crimes are punishable up to 364 days in prison and are misdemeanors. Felony crimes include but are not limited to Aggravated Assault, Gross Sexual Assault, Arson, and Manslaughter, just to name a few. Misdemeanors are Domestic Violence Assault, Operating Under the Influence, “Simple” Assault, Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, and the like.

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