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Can I represent myself in court? What could go wrong?
It is a terrible idea to represent yourself if you are under any criminal charges. It is not a matter of intelligence; it is a matter of advocacy. If you represent yourself, you have a higher risk of leaving a negative impression with the prosecutor.
If I am found innocent, will the charge still appear on my criminal record?
For general public background checks, or if you are trying to get a lease for an apartment it will not show any criminal record. However, for many jobs, professional board licenses and government background checks, it will show an individual has a criminal record. It will say found “innocent”, but it cannot undo the fact a person was charged with a crime.
Is my criminal record public information?
Yes, it is. In Maine criminal records cannot be sealed, as other states do. It does not matter if it was a misdemeanor or a bigger crime, the public will always have access to records.
What are the long term consequences of a criminal conviction?
It would depend on the crime. However, being convicted of any crime is being labeled as a criminal. It can hurt the chances of getting a new job, if the employer cannot see past it. This is why we encourage you to get a lawyer that can advise and guide you throughout this situation.
What is a plea bargain and should I accept it?
A Plea Bargain is an agreement, it is how our system is setup to resolve criminal cases. It could reduce charges, but a person would have to “plead guilty” to a charge that can be dismissed later. In many cases taking a plea bargain it is the best choice, however since all the cases are not the same this is not always the best option.
A warrant was issued for my arrest. What do I do?
Call us immediately. The last thing you want to do is be out with your family or friends or being at work and have an officer run your information because you will get arrested. You and your loved ones do not need the embarrassment and the stress of this type of situation.
Will I have to stay in jail during the pendency of my case?
In most cases no, if bail was posted on your behalf. However, your bail can be revoked if you violate your bail conditions. In that case you will go back to jail.
What is the difference between being indicted and convicted of a crime?

When you are founded convicted of a crime it means you were found guilty of the crime you were charged with. A judge has sentenced you and now officially you have a criminal record.If you are indicted for a crime it means, there is going to be Grand Jury who will decide in secret if there is enough evidence to prove you are guilty of a crime.

What is immunity?
Immunity is very rarely ever given. Immunity is when the government cannot prosecute you for the crime they initially intended to charge you with. In return you will give full cooperation as a witness and provide information about the crime.
What is the purpose of the dispositional conference & what should I expect?
The Dispositional Conference requires the presence of the person being charged with the crime. A lawyer needs to be present, a prosecutor and in most cases a judge. The lawyer and the prosecutor will discuss the details and facts about the case. Sometimes there is a negotiation, and this is when plead agreements are reached. The person accused of the crime will not give a testimony and the police will not be involved.
What is Double Jeopardy?
If you have been charged of a crime and went to trial and were found innocent, you are already vindicated. Even if new evidence comes to light, you cannot be charged for the same crime you were already acquitted for.
How is bail determined?
The person charged with the crime will have to go with their lawyer to Court. The lawyer and the prosecutor might be in agreement with the bail should be, and as long as the judge accepts it, everything is fine. However, if the prosecutor and the lawyer have very different ideas on what the bail should be, they both have to present their ideas to the judge with valid reasons. Then the judge will decide what kind of bail is best suited.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Difference between them depends on the severity of the crime. With misdemeanor we have two classifications D and E. The max. penalty is 180 days in jail with a $1000 fine. With D the max. penalty is 364 days in jail with a $2000 fine.With a felony an Excess classification is a max. of 364 days in jail. C is 5 years in jail. B is 10 years in jail. A is 30 years in life. And for murder is 30 years to life.

How is a jury selected for a criminal trial?
Maine has a different process than most states. In Maine we have a pool of people and some questions are asked as a screening process. Once we have those questions and we analyze them, out of that pool we select 13 or 14 people who we are trusting to be fair and impartial.
Can I lose my job if I’m convicted of a crime?
It depends. It can depend on your type of job and the type of crime. If you are charged with fraud, embezzlement or debt, depending on your position your employer may think you are no longer a good fit. If the crime you are being charged is domestic violence, your boss and coworkers might think you are a liability. There is no way to know for sure unless we know the specific case.

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