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spouse oui arrest information

Thus far, my articles have been directed to the person charged with OUI, from the time of the stop through trial proceedings. This article will focus on the challenges facing spouses of the accused. The term “spouses”, in the present context, may be broadly construed to include significant others, partners and the like. Unfortunately, neither I, Dr. Phil nor anyone else can produce a blue print which covers every dynamic of every relationship and every familial circumstance. But, it is worthwhile to provide you with some generalized information nonetheless.

Day of The Arrest

Folks are usually first apprised of their spouses’ OUI arrest via a late night call from the county jail or they are passengers/witnesses to the arrest. The spouse who receives the late night call is often immediately hit with a flurry of emotions ranging from anger, panic, confusion and anxiety to sympathy and protectiveness. The passenger/witness experiences the same. The sober passenger/witness is more likely to lean toward anger and frustration.

No matter the circumstances, the first thing to do is get your spouse out of jail. That will almost always require you to make a trip to the county jail. There you will have to pay $60 cash to cover the bail commissioner’s fee. You should call the jail before leaving home to ascertain whether any actual cash bail will be required. Bail commissioners do not accept credit cards or checks. You may need to stop by an ATM if cash bail is required.

No matter what, do not drive yourself to the jail if you have ANY question about your complete sobriety. Corrections officers will arrest you if you drive to their facility and you may be over the limit at the time. No matter how angry you may be at your spouse, it is generally best to get him or her out of jail as quickly as possible. With rare exceptions, he or she will be terrified, traumatized, stricken with anxiety/depression and embarrassment from the experience that he or she has just endured.

The Day After the Arrest

“The day after” is critical for you and your spouse. While you are likely to be consumed with anger, frustration and confusion, you should also understand that your spouse will be consumed with nearly debilitating anxiety, depression, embarrassment and fear of what lies ahead. You are in this together; you are both feeling many of the same emotions albeit in differing degrees. Stick together. Develop a game plan. This case is going to affect you both as well as your kids and your jobs.

If you turn your back on your spouse and say “It’s your problem, you deal with it”, you will end up hurting yourself and your kids.

Here is why: Your spouse will be facing license suspensions that will impact his or her ability to work as well as his or her ability to share in familial duties such as transporting kids, grocery shopping, etc.

There may or may not be underlying substance abuse issues with which your spouse is dealing whether this is a first offense or a third or fifth offense. The degree of professional help required can range from an evaluation to one on one counseling to intensive outpatient counseling or inpatient treatment. You play the second most critical role in seeing to it that your spouse obtains the appropriate degree of professional assistance. Of course, your spouse plays the most critical role in this phase.

In addition to the foregoing, there are other ways in which your spouse’s arrest for drunk driving may affect you. In almost every OUI case, bail conditions will be imposed which prohibit the “possession or use of alcohol”. Possession includes “constructive possession”. That means that your spouse’s residence and motor vehicle as well as his or her person must be alcohol free. You will not be permitted to have any alcoholic beverages in the residence until the case is over. Likewise, your residence, if shared with your spouse, will likely be subject to random searches by the police for the presence of alcoholic beverages.

If you and your spouse have kids, depending on their ages, you may or may not have to discuss this situation with them. The two of you should figure out an agreed upon approach for doing so to lessen the burden on them accordingly.

The foregoing is a generalized outline of what folks should expect and plan for should their spouses be charged with OUI in Maine. Every situation is different. This is not a blue print. The first part of your game plan on “the day after”, should be to consult with the best defense attorney in your state to arm yourselves with the most comprehensive information regarding how to deal with the road ahead, to ease your anxiety and to provide you with the best defense possible.

Call or email me for a free consultation to set up your game plan, to answer all of your questions and to give you the defense that you deserve: the best.

I have moved to 1250 Forest Ave,Suite 10, Portland, ME 04103. Phone number remains 207-879-4000. Email is still mnichols@nicholschurchill. com.

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).

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