Bail in Maine: Setting, Reducing & Violating Conditions of Release

Maine bail code does not allow for bail bonds

There are no bail bonds in Maine

In Maine, almost all defendants arrested and charged with a new offense have a right to bail. Those who can bail out stand a much better chance of resolving their case in a favorable way. But having a right to bail does not mean that every defendant will be released pending trial. To understand how bail works in Maine, you need to know something about who sets bail, the different kinds of bail and what happens when conditions are violated. This article covers the following topics, use the links to jump to that section:

  1. Why it’s Important to get bailed out
  2. When and how bail is set in Maine
  3. Types of bail: promise, cash, surety, supervision
  4. Preconviction bail for those accused
  5. Postconviction bail for those found guilty
  6. Options for getting bail reduced
  7. Violating Conditions of Release & Bail Revocation

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Not Guilty Verdict: Defending a .20 Intoxilyzer 8000 OUI

Intoxilyzer 8000 brochure coverThis case started like many DUI or OUI cases in Maine. My client was driving home from a bar at around midnight. A Yarmouth, Maine Police officer saw his car driving too slow, watched the vehicle touch the yellow center line several times and noticed a brake light out. The officer stopped the car and had the driver perform field sobriety tests. The traffic stop and roadside tests were recorded on video. The officer saw clues of impairment on the tests and he arrested my client for OUI. The driver was taken to the station to do a breath test on an intoxilyzer 8000. His breath alcohol level tested at .20; the legal limit is .08. Because of the high test, a 2 day jail sentence was mandatory.  We had a trial and the jury returned a not guilty verdict. [Read more…]

Maine Criminal Code, Statutes, Laws & Rules of Criminal Procedure

The Maine criminal code is a collection of statutes passed by the state legislature. These laws make certain conduct illegal and specify penalties for the crimes. Reading the statute that defines a particular crime will give you some information, but won’t tell the whole story. To really understand how Maine’s criminal code works you need to know how statutes, case law, rules of procedure and rules of evidence interact to form what might be called Maine criminal law. This article addresses the following topics:
Maine criminal code and statutes

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Maine OUI Laws Explained: Penalties for DUI, OUI in Maine

maine oui laws allow police to investigate oui in maine

Under Maine OUI Laws, “Operating Under the Influence” is the term used to describe DUI, DWI, impaired or drunk driving. Those charged with OUI in Maine need to understand what the laws actually say and what penalties are possible. This article will explain:

You can click this link to see all my articles about Maine OUI Offenses.

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Driving With a Suspended License or OAS: Not Guilty Verdict

Maine driving with a suspeneded licnese, OAS trial ends in not guilty verdictUnder Maine law, driving with a suspended license is called Operating After Suspension or OAS. Many people think that these crimes are easy to prove and that it’s not worth hiring a lawyer for a suspended license case. I have handled hundreds of OAS cases and there are often defenses. Here’s the story of one case where my client was charged with driving on a suspended license and a bail violation. The prosecutor refused to dismiss and my client refused to plead guilty. If he was convicted, the judge had said he would send him to jail and, since he had a lengthy driving history, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles would have revoked his license for three years as a habitual offender. We had a trial and the jury found my client not guilty. [Read more…]

Ignition Interlock Device Now Shortens a 1st Maine OUI Suspension

Ignition interlock device intoxalockThe Maine Legislature has passed LD 1260. The law is effective from 12/1/13 on and it modifies Maine’s current Operating Under the Influence suspension scheme. The law increases the first offense OUI suspension period, but also allows for quicker license reinstatement if the driver gets an ignition interlock device installed. Such devices are connected to the car’s ignition system and require the driver to give a breath sample before starting the car. The law is a  major change and it’s important to understand what it does and how it works. [Read more…]

Federal Grand Jury Witness Subpoena: The Process, Your Rights

Citizens can generally refuse to talk to police or prosecutors, but the United State’s Attorney has figured a way around that. Federal prosecutors can serve people with a grand jury witness subpoena, a court order forcing them to appear in court to truthfully answer questions. This process is a way for prosecutors to build a case against their main targets, but it’s also one of the ways that people loosely connected to criminal activity end up charged with Federal crimes. The grand jury process is secret, confusing, and dangerous. A criminal defense attorney who understands that process can help limit the witnesses’ risk, and might even be able to secure the witness immunity.  [Read more…]

Extradition, Fugitive From Justice: Maine’s Process, Your Options

Maine Sheriff Van use for extradition

Extradition can mean a long ride in one of these

Extradition is not a criminal charge, it’s the way that a court in one state can hold a person as they await transportation to another place where they face criminal prosecution. Extradition proceedings put the defendant in a very difficult position: while the Maine Court has the authority to hold them in jail, it does not have jurisdiction over the charges that got the person in trouble. Still, the detained person has rights and Maine’s law requires that the state demanding extradition prove that extradition is appropriate.
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Not guilty: Aggravated Criminal Trespass, Assault, Threatening

No Trespassing signs can lead to aggravated criminal trespass charges

Dru Bloomfield via flickr

This is one of the strangest cases I’ve ever tried. My client faced charges of felony aggravated criminal trespass, assault and  criminal threatening. The charges stemmed from a dispute with a neighbor and while the facts were odd, the victim seemed credible. My client maintained that he was not guilty and insisted on a trial. He was much more confident than me. In the end, the jury found him not guilty on all counts. [Read more…]

Intoxilyzer Breath Test in OUI, DUI: How it Works, What it Means

An Intoxilyzer 5000 or 8000 Breath Alcohol Test is key evidence in many Maine OUI or Operating Under the Influence cases. A person is guilty of OUI in Maine if they drive with a breath alcohol concentration at or above .08 grams per 210 liters of breath. People who are charged with Operating Under the Influence will usually get a copy of the breath test either from the police, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or the District Attorney’s Office. While the form shows a result at the bottom, it doesn’t say anything about how the machine works or how to read the print out. Here I will discuss what the Intoxilyzer machine does, the internal calibration and testing process, and I will take you through an annotated test result sheet to explain what each entry on that form actually means. [Read more…]