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We Help Good People, In Bad Situations,

Maine Criminal Defense Attorneys

Avoid Serious Criminal Consequences

Aggressive Legal Representation For All Your Maine Criminal Defense Legal Needs

Here at The Maine Criminal Defense Group, we provide professional and aggressive criminal defense and OUI representation that exceeds the expectations of our clients and secures their freedom and their future.

Why MCD?

What distinguishes our firm from the numerous law firms throughout the state is that we genuinely care about the well-being of our clients. The staff and attorneys of The Maine Criminal Defense Group ensure that every client receives hands-on and personalized attention throughout the life of their case.

The Criminal Process

Click on the text in the blue circles to learn more about each phase of the criminal justice process
and about your rights as a crime victim.

Pre-Arrest

After law enforcement is informed about suspicious activity, an investigation begins. Investigations typically involve collecting evidence, requesting a search warrant, or interviewing witnesses. If you’re suspected of drunk driving, you may be asked to provide blood or urine samples.

Arrest

Law enforcement may request an arrest warrant from a judge or just take the suspect into custody based on the totality of the circumstances. The arrest or request for an arrest warrant can only be made if there’s probable cause, which is determined by the evidence gathered during the investigation.

Arraignment

Once an arrest is made, the defendant must participate in their arraignment, or an initial hearing, before a judge. The defendant learns about the charges and enters a plea in response.

Pre-Trial

During the pre-trial, or discovery phase, your attorney exchanges information with the opposing side’s attorney. We discuss the information and evidence we plan on using during the trial. In some cases, a pretrial motion might be filed, which may dismiss certain charges or omit specific evidence from the trial.

Trial

If the case is not resolved during plea bargaining, it’s taken to trial. This is where the judge and jury determine who is the guilty party. Your attorney will use evidence to try and defend you. Every criminal defendant has a constitutional right to a trial.

Sentencing

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty on any of the charges, the judge determines an appropriate sentence based on your criminal history, the severity of the crime, and other factors. Sentences also depend on the state in which you reside, so our attorneys will inform you of Maine’s specific laws.

Appeals

Even if the defendant is found guilty, he or she can make an appeal to a higher court. During an appeal, the defendant can argue that certain aspects of the trial affected the outcome of the case. If the appellate sides with the defendant, the court may reverse a conviction or request a new trial.

MAINE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

Aggressive Legal Representation
For All Your Legal Needs

If you have been charged with assault, theft, drug possession, or any other type of crime in Maine, you have come to the right place. The Maine Criminal Defense Group provides professional and aggressive criminal defense representation that exceeds the expectations of our clients and secures their freedom in the future.

Meet The Attorneys

The Maine Criminal Defense Group handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including legal representation for state and federal charges. We are knowledgeable and compassionate and will work to help you get results that you are not only happy with, but that are reached in a fair and compromising manner.

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OUR PAST CLIENTS CASE RESULTS

The Maine Criminal Defense Group stands out from the many firms across the state due to our fierce commitment to defending those charged with a violent crime, property crime, OUI/DUI, or other criminal offense. We understand how even a minor charge can impact your life, and we will fight to protect you every step of the way.

Maine Criminal Defense Group Client Reviews

Ready to get your life back? Call now!

A wooden gavel and block with a golden justice lady in the background representing how one can benefit from calling a Portland criminal defense attorney.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Maine

Most crimes are defined in the Maine Criminal Code, which is part of the Maine Revised Statutes. It covers “substantive offenses” and their associated punishments. This is the starting point for finding out if you have committed a criminal offense. The Code can easily be searched online. However, the language used can be confusing unless you are accustomed to “Legalese”. Also, not all crimes are defined in the Criminal Code. Other areas of the Maine Revised Statutes cover specific crimes. For instance, numerous hunting and fishing offenses are included in Title 12. Therefore, it is always best to check with a criminal defense attorney if you are arrested or charged with a crime.

How does a civil case differ from a criminal case?

A criminal case in Maine generally involves a witness or victim reporting the offense to a law enforcement officer – or a law enforcement officer stopping an individual. The State will then decide whether to file criminal charges against the accused, based on a multitude of factors, including whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, to maintain order in society, provide justice for the victim, protect the public, and to deter other potential offenders. For a case to proceed, a prosecutor or a Grand Jury must approve the charges.

The criminal case will be known as “State of Maine v. Defendant” and, if the prosecution proves guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”, a jail or prison sentence may be handed down by the judge. The freedom of the accused is at stake, so the burden of proof is necessarily high. A civil case is very different. It can be brought by one or more individuals to resolve a dispute, such as a divorce, breach of contract or landlord-tenant disputes. There is no risk of jail in such cases. The person who initiates the lawsuit is known as the “plaintiff” and in order to win the civil case, it must be demonstrated by “a preponderance of the evidence” that he or she is in the right. The burden of proof is, therefore, lower in a civil case than a criminal case, where “beyond a reasonable doubt” is used.

How does probation differ from parole?

Probation and parole are often confused but are actually very different. Probation is a specific period of time during which a person found guilty of a criminal offense in Maine must report to his or her probation officer. The officer is responsible for supervising the offender during this period, with a set of specific conditions imposed by the court that the offender must observe closely. The offender must commit no further criminal activity to avoid probation being revoked and returning to jail. In these cases, the person who was convicted of a crime is given a split sentence, which includes time in jail and an unsuspended portion of the sentence. If probation is revoked, that person could be facing the full unsuspended sentence being imposed as a result of the violation.

Parole, on the other hand, is an early release from a prison sentence imposed on a person found guilty of a crime. During this period, the released offender will be monitored and, if the conditions of their parole are broken, they may be sent back to jail. Note that Maine no longer imposes sentences with “eligibility for parole”. However, if you are convicted of a crime and sent to jail, you may qualify for “good time” credits. These may add up to an early release from a jail sentence.

What’s the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in a criminal case?

For many years, crimes in Maine were classified as follows:

  • • Felonies – the most serious crimes punishable by one year or more in prison
  • • Misdemeanors – less serious crimes punishable by one year or less in jail

 

However, unlike in most states around the U.S., these classifications are no longer used in Maine. Instead, crimes are classified in the following five categories:

  • • Class E: Crimes punishable by up to 6 months incarceration and a $1,000 fine
  • • Class D: Crimes punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine
  • • Class C: Crimes punishable by up to 5 years incarceration and a $5,000 fine
  • • Class B: Crimes punishable by up to 10 years incarceration and a $20,000 fin
  • • Class A: Crimes punishable by up to 30 years incarceration and a $50,000 fine

 

For some specific crimes, there are guidelines outside of the above. Murder, for instance, is punishable by between 25 years and life imprisonment.

Examples of felonies in Maine

Most criminal offenses in Maine are considered “misdemeanors” and only the most serious crimes detailed in Classes A, B and C are considered “felonies” (as well as murder, which has been covered already).

 

A few examples of relatively common felonies include:

  • • Manslaughter
  • • Rape
  • • Sexual assault of a child under the age of 14
  • • Possession of Child Pornography
  • • Some kinds of drug possession cases such as heroin
  • • May white collar crimes
  • • Assault using a deadly weapon

OUI Aggravating Factors in Maine

Is operating under the influence considered a criminal offense?

In Maine, operating under the influence (OUI) is the term used for the offense of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or over. This is a criminal offense and it will stay on both your criminal record and driving record permanently. For a first offense OUI, the crime charged is a class D. Most OUI charges are misdemeanors. For someone with multiple prior convictions or cases where injuries resulted, they could be facing felony OUI charges.

Despite popular belief, it doesn’t expire after a certain time period and it can continue to negatively impact employment, financial matters, and freedom of travel for the rest of your life. These long-term consequences are in addition to the immediate penalties, such as an automatic license suspension, substantial fines, and even a possible jail sentence. That’s why it’s important to seek experienced legal representation to defend OUI charges in Maine.

Can I have my criminal record expunged in Maine?

There is no provision within Maine law for the expungement of adult criminal records – with only one exception. That is for convictions for Class E crimes (the least serious criminal offenses) committed by people aged 18 to 21 years old at the time of the offense. The law referenced had a “sunset provision” on it, which means it expired on a certain date and may no longer be available for young offenders to use.

Expungement of Class E convictions for youthful offenders

A few examples of Class E crimes include:

  • • Operating on a suspended license
  • • Disorderly conduct
  • • Theft under $1,000

 

If you were between the ages of 18 and 21 when you were convicted of such a crime, you may petition the court for an expungement providing you meet the following conditions:

  • • You wait four years after completing all terms of your sentence
  • • There are no other convictions on your record
  • • No other charges against you have been dismissed as a result of deferred disposition
  • • You have not committed a juvenile crime for which the hearing was open to the public
  • • No other charges are pending against you
  • • Your crime was not of a sexual nature

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Ready to Get Started? Contact Our Firm Today!

If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys

Portland Office

By Appt. Only
(207) 571-8162

Biddeford Office

Main Office
(207) 571-8162
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