The Maine Defender Blog

What Should I Expect At My Initial Consultation If I Have Been Charged With OUI

nichols-oui-free-consultation

We offer free initial consultations with all potential clients who are seriously interested in defending their OUI charges. My initial consultations usually last about 1.5 – 2 hours.

The purpose of the initial consultation  is for the attorney to give you information. Over the last 27 years, I have defended folks accused of everything ranging from murder, arson, robbery and other major felonies down to misdemeanor  and felony OUIs.

Ironically, the procedural issues attendant to OUI cases are far more complex than those associated with the aforementioned  more serious crimes. It takes about 15 minutes to explain the procedural elements of a major felony case because 99% of those elements deal with court procedure. In an OUI case, there are far more elements  of the case that deal with non-court  procedures.

Here is how the typical OUI case is handled in my office.

Whether you contact me by phone or email, you will initially speak with my legal assistant, Joanne Deering. Joanne and was the top person in the criminal clerks’ office in Portland from 1991 to 1999. She has been the foundation, the glue, the brick of my practice since 1999.

Joanne will gather some background information from you and set up your file. She will also set up your free consultation with me as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours) and answer some of your  immediate questions  and concerns. Joanne  will also email or snail  mail you her “narrative letter” which will provide you with directions to our office and an outline of information that you should provide prior to or shortly after the  consultation.

Next, you and I will meet for an extensive free consultation. I will not simply sit back for twenty minutes and ask you “What happened next?”  Again, the purpose of the initial consultation  is for me to give you information, not the other way around.  You already know what happened. To repeat what you already know to a lawyer is a waste of your time. The “narrative” letter will ask you to provide an extensive, detailed account of what happened as well as personal information should you decide to hire me.

I divide my initial consultations into three parts.

First, I will ask you about some basic background information:  prior convictions, court dates, type of license, etc.  I will also advise you about collateral issues like travel restrictions, bail conditions and other types of licenses that may be effected by this type of charge.

Second, we will discuss all of the intricacies of the procedural hurdles that you are facing and how to best proactively face and conquer them. These hurdles range from how to address your administrative license suspension  proceeding, the DEEP program (counseling),  how to get your  license restored early via the ignition interlock device and various other administrative  issues that are separate from your court case.

We will also review the “second case”, the court/criminal case and its procedural nuances, scheduling and possible outcomes, how “discovery” (the provision of police reports, witness statements,  DVDs and other evidence)  works and other such  issues.

Third, you and I will talk about specific facts about what  happened. We will  review the reason that you were confronted by the officer, your initial discussions with  him or her, the field sobriety tests, your medical history as it pertains to those tests and all aspects of the chemical test (breath, blood or urine) that you performed or your  reasons for refusing to take a chemical test. I will explain how all field sobriety tests and chemical tests work and ask you detailed questions about how and why they may be invalid and/or unreliable in your case.

Always Have Your Paperwork Handy

You should have all of your paperwork  handy when you speak with Joanne  (bail bond, summonses, Intoxilyzer  print-out and your driver’s license) . She needs information contained in those documents in order to set up your file. You should bring all of those documents to your initial consultation. The defense of your case starts in earnest at our first meeting.

Consultations are not just  about discussing fees and potential penalties although we will discuss those  issues as well.

Finally, I will be more than happy to answer any all questions that you may have regarding any aspect of your case. I will give you both my email address and Joanne’s so that you may ask follow  up questions in the hours and days following our initial consultation.

To set up your free consultation, call me at 207-879-4000 or email me at the address provided on this website or at mnichols@nicholschurchill.com.

 

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general, not specific, information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author(s) and the reader(s).