Facing an OUI charge in Maine means that the criminal court and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will get involved. Both the Court and the BMV require your attention for the best possible outcome.
BMV is Separate from the Criminal Court
When facing a charge for criminal OUI in Maine, it is easy to focus on the court dates and to forget about the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). People depend on their ability to drive to earn a living. An administrative license suspension that begins long before your first court date is a serious inconvenience at best, and can risk your job at worst. When facing an OUI charge in Maine, both the criminal court and the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are involved. While the State must prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt at Court, the BMV can suspend your driver's license off of a police report alleging OUI. Your criminal defense lawyer should represent you at the BMV as aggressively as at the criminal court. At my Firm, The Nielsen Group, this is my approach to every OUI case.
The BMV Suspension Notice
When the BMV receives the police report alleging OUI, they send you a letter in the mail notifying you that your license is about to go under administrative suspension. For a first offense, the administrative suspension is for 150 days. The BMV sends the suspension notice to the address on your driver's license. All the BMV has to do is to send the suspension letter to the last known address. Your license can still be suspended by the BMV even if you did not get the notice of suspension in the mail. I always tell clients that if their address on their driver's license is different from the address where they get mail, then they should update their address with the BMV.
Request a BMV Administrative Hearing
The BMV Notice of Suspension includes a deadline to request an Administrative Hearing. The Administrative Hearing should not be missed. A skilled criminal defense attorney has the experience to thoroughly question the officer about the arrest and administration of a chemical test in aid of your defense. If you win at the BMV Administrative Hearing, then the BMV will not suspend your driver's license. If you do not request a BMV Administrative Hearing on time, and you do not have good cause for your late request, then you miss the opportunity for a BMV Administrative Hearing. If you skip the BMV Administrative Hearing, you miss out on the opportunity to question the arresting officer. It is never a good idea to skip the BMV Hearing when facing an OUI in Maine.
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