Maine is a notoriously rural state, with very few public transportation options. For some, losing their right to drive is just simply not an option.
Habitual Offender: Three Strikes and You’re Out!
A habitual offender in Maine is a person who accumulates three or more convictions for certain distinct driving offenses (arising out of separate acts) committed within a 5-year period.
License Suspension for a Maine Habitual Offender
The Secretary of State shall immediately revoke a person’s license, without a preliminary hearing, for at least 3 years when they become a habitual offender. There is an opportunity to request a hearing to show cause why the license should not have been revoked.
A driver whose license has been revoked may petition the Secretary of State for a work-restricted license after the first 18 months of the 3-year suspension have passed. When deciding whether or not to issue a work-restricted license, the Secretary of State may consider the specific needs of the driver.
Reinstatement after Habitual Offender Revocation
After the 3-year period of revocation has expired, a person may petition the Secretary of State for relief from habitual offender status. The Secretary of State will restore the person’s license if they deem the person is no longer a danger to public safety, and the person has complied with the financial responsibility requirements. A license will not be restored if the person has a pending criminal charge for Operating After Revocation. A license will not be restored for a minim period of one year following any conviction for Operating After Revocation.
Criminal Penalties for Operating After Habitual Offender Revocation
If the driver has not been convicted of Operating After HO Revocation within the previous 10 years and does not have an OUI conviction in the previous 10 years, the charge is a Class D misdemeanor. The minimum fine is $500.00 and the minimum term of imprisonment is 30 days.
If the driver has one prior conviction for Operating After HO Revocation within the previous 10 years or has an OUI conviction in the previous 10 years, the charge is a Class C felony. The minimum fine is $1,000.00 and the minimum term of imprisonment is 6 months.
If the driver has two prior convictions for Operating After HO Revocation within the previous 10 years or has 2 OUI convictions in the previous 10 years, the charge is a Class C felony. The minimum fine is $1,000.00 and the minimum term of imprisonment is 9 months plus a day.
If the driver has three or more prior convictions for Operating After HO Revocation within the previous 10 years or has 3 or more OUI convictions in the previous 10 years, the charge is a Class C felony. The minimum fine is $1,000.00 and the minimum term of imprisonment is 2 years.
Driving Offenses That Count Towards Habitual Offender Status
(1) Homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; (2) OUI conviction; (3) Driving to endanger; (4) Operating after suspension or revocation; (5) Operating without a license; (6) Operating after revocation; (7) Knowingly making a false affidavit or swearing or affirming falsely in a statement required by Title 29-A or as to information required in the administration of Title 29-A; (8) A Class A, B, C or D offense in which a motor vehicle is used; (9) Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death; (10) Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage; (11) Eluding an officer; (12) Passing a roadblock; (13) Operating a motor vehicle at a speed that exceeds the maximum speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more; and (14) Tampering with or circumventing the operation of an ignition interlock device.
Or, the person has accumulated 10 or more convictions or adjudications for moving violations arising out of separate acts committed within a 5-year period.
If you’ve been charged with a criminal driving offense in Southern Maine, or if you have any questions about the information provided in this article, please feel free to send us an email.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.