Of all the times you need an attorney, being criminally charged is probably one of the most important. Even a misdemeanor conviction is a criminal record, bringing lifetime of limitations in employment, education and housing. Background checks are standard on even minimum wage jobs, so there isn’t a way around admitting a conviction.
Criminal convictions of any kind may cause you to lose a professional license, such as a medical, nursing or teaching. A CDL driver who is convicted of OUI (operating under the influence) will not only lose his or her license, but the ability to make a living.
While a misdemeanor is a less serious charge, it can still bring high fines, a prison sentence, and a permanent criminal record. Can you take a few weeks, or even six months off work, to serve jail time? The stakes are higher for felony convictions, with even steeper fines and prison sentences that are potentially years long and will effectively end your life as you know it.
You Are Entitled To A Defense Attorney
Law enforcement is required to follow a specific process for an arrest to ensure that it’s legal.
At the time of arrest, you’ll be read your Miranda rights, in which you’ll be told, “you have the right to remain silent.” Immediately take this right. You’ll also be told you have the right to an attorney. Take this seriously, and politely request to have one present during questioning. Until you have an attorney, don’t discuss your case with the police, or anyone else.
You may choose to accept the help of a court-appointed attorney, paid for by the court. Maine has no public defender’s office, and an series of contracted attorneys provides limited ad-hoc public defense services. Representation is limited, and focused on quickly moving cases through the system. You may find yourself pleading guilty based on an inadequate defense, with an attorney who is in a hurry to finish your case.
While you can represent yourself, it’s highly recommended that you don’t, even if you are an attorney.
Effective Criminal Defense
If your car has an electrical problem, you would bring it to a repair shop that understands electrical problems in cars and had the ability to find and repair it. Asking an oil change company to diagnose, detect and repair your car’s electrical system will probably not yield the results you need. They don’t have the means, or the understanding of a car’s electrical system to be able to correct what’s wrong.
Relying on a court-appointed attorney is risking a conviction, even if you’re innocent. Finding a private criminal defense attorney who understands the court system in Gorham, ME is the best option for a strong defense that will protect you in court and through the system.
A criminal defense attorney that you hire will work for you and not against you. He or she understands the laws and how they are applied, as well as how the system works. You’ll have an advocate to help you through the court system, advise you on whether to plead not guilty or accept a plea bargain, and other options.
Every criminal case is different. Finding an attorney who understands not only the law, but the system, is your best chance at either acquittal, a lesser sentence, or alternative sentencing (if available.)
Facing Criminal Charges in Southern Maine? Call Us Now!
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, questioned about one, or are under investigation, you need legal help fast. We understand that someone accused of a crime is fearful of going to court, possibly to jail, and going through the unknown criminal justice process. Peter W. Evans has 25 years of experience defending Mainers on criminal charges and working for the best possible outcome. He gives each client and case personal attention to resolve the issues and ensure the best possible outcome.
Don’t risk a conviction, prison sentence and expensive fines. Call (207) 747-5114 today or contact us online to make an appointment to discuss your case.