This recent story of a Wiscasset suspect allegedly trying to avoid an OUI arrest illustrates the problem. The story reports that the suspect had already suffered a Maine OUI charge within the same week, for which he was out on bail. When an officer noticed the erratic path of the suspect's vehicle, the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which instead forced the officer's vehicle off the road in the suspect's attempt to flee.
After Maine police apprehended the suspect to lodge him in the Two Bridges Regional Jail, the result was not only a second OUI charge but also charges for failing to stop for the officer, driving to endanger, and violation of bail terms for release. What might have been a relatively straightforward second OUI had in a moment's excitement just become a significantly larger problem.
Enhanced OUI Charges
In the heat of the moment, drivers may think they have cause to attempt to evade arrest. They may be intoxicated, as alleged in the above story, or they may have an outstanding arrest warrant or open intoxicants or other contraband in the vehicle. And indeed, a Maine second-offense OUI like the one the above driver faced increases a first-offense OUI from its $500 misdemeanor with no jail time to a $700 misdemeanor with at least seven days in jail. Read more here about OUI charges and penalties.
Yet no matter how excited an officer's signal to pull over may make a vehicle driver, and no matter how compelling is the surmised cause to evade arrest, flight from arrest is never a good idea. The story shows that evading arrest is a separate crime that simply compounds the underlying OUI charge. And even further charges may result from the flight, as in the above story involving charges of driving to endanger.
Defending an OUI Resisting-Arrest Charge
All may not be lost for the unfortunate driver in the above story. An aggressive advocate like Maine OUI attorney William Ashe knows that cases involving enhanced OUI charges, whether for evading arrest or other conduct, deserve skilled investigation before reaching conclusions. And even if the investigation reveals some evidence of a crime, an effective defense may cast reasonable doubt on one or more elements of the charges.
Attorney William Ashe has the expertise and experience to defend Maine OUI charges. He can challenge field-sobriety tests and chemical tests, challenge officer testimony that lacks credibility, and exclude tests, confessions, and other evidence police obtained violating constitutional rights. OUI penalties and the administrative and other collateral consequences of an OUI charge or conviction can harm career and reputation. Contact the Law Offices of William H. Ashe online or at (207) 813-0018 for the OUI defense you need for the best possible outcome.