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DUI (OUI) Legal Process in Maine

The State of Maine allows officers to arrest individuals for operating a vehicle under the influence without an arrest warrant. Typically, any legal process begins with an arrest and ends with a sentence or appeal. Officers will arrest an individual for operating a vehicle under the influence after an officer has probable cause and a driver fails a chemical test. Any individual arrested for a crime will usually to be taken to a police station for holding or placed before a magistrate. After, an individual is placed in a holding cell or before a magistrate the process for any crime becomes within the judicial system. Usually, individuals charged for operating a vehicle under the influence will have a preliminary arraignment or trial. Further, an individual is tried for his or her crime with the ability to appeal the outcome.

An officer having probable cause to believe an individual is operating a vehicle under the influence will arrest an individual for the crime after the individual failed a chemical test. The officer does not to have an arrest warrant to arrest an individual for operating a vehicle under the influence. Further, the individual is placed under custody of the officer and taken to a holding cell or before a magistrate. Any individual brought before a magistrate will either request an administrative hearing, preliminary arraignment, or waive both and proceed to a formal trial. The magistrate will either hear the case or will transfer the case to another court for a formal trial. A case will be transferred to a specific court based on where the individual entered his or her plea.

An individual before a magistrate will be able to request an administrative hearing prior to a preliminary arraignment. An administrative hearing will address the two main elements necessary for operating a vehicle under the influence offense. Specifically, an administrative hearing addresses whether an officer possessed probable cause and whether the driver was under the influence. However, an individual must request the hearing. An individual not requesting an administrative hearing will proceed to a preliminary arraignment before a formal trial to address the evidence as well as other legal elements. However, an individual may waive a preliminary arraignment and enter a trial or enter a guilty plea and receive his or her sentence.

The process of a preliminary arraignment will address admissibility and a trial will address the meaning of the evidence or the guilt or innocence of the driver. A formal trial will place the individual with an attorney in his or her defense. Each side will argue before the judge to determine whether an individual is guilty or not guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence. Following the outcome of the trial an individual will either be sentenced for a guilty verdict, appeal the decision, or will be acquitted of the crime. Any appeal must address a specific legal question and not merely disagree with the decision.

Therefore, the judicial process for operating a vehicle under the influence will begin once an individual is arrested. Following, an arrest an individual is brought before a magistrate where he or she may request an administrative hearing, a preliminary arraignment, or a formal trial. The administrative hearing addresses an officer’s probable cause and the individual’s level of intoxication. A preliminary arraignment examines the admissibility of evidence as well as other procedural elements. Further, a trial follows a preliminary arraignment or appearance before a magistrate if the preliminary arraignment is waived.


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