In Maine, the crime of Domestic Violence Assault can be investigated, charged, and even proven beyond a reasonable doubt based simply on the allegation of one complaining witness. The significant nature of the charges, and potential adverse consequences, make Domestic Violence charges in Maine some of the more serious a person can face.Read more
Most people know, or have heard, that they have the “right to remain silent” when being questioned by law enforcement officers. But what does that actually mean, and when should someone invoke this right?
The goal of this article is to level the playing field between law enforcement officers and drivers who are asked to perform Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s).
Typically, when a motorist is pulled over on suspicion of Operating Under the Influence (OUI), a law enforcement officer will ask the driver to exit the vehicle and perform standardized field sobriety tests. Based on observations by the officer, he or she may ask the driver to submit to a breath test (known as a Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer).
Under Maine law, if there is probable cause to believe a person has operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, that person shall submit to and complete a test. See 29-A §2521. This reading of the statute may leave some feeling as though the breath test is mandatory at the request of a law enforcement officer.
However, under Maine law there are provisions which increase the punishment for people who refuse to submit to an alcohol test. Therefore, it can be inferred that the tests are not absolutely mandatory if the driver is willing to incur increased penalties.