Portland Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer & Attorney

Best Portland Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer | Richard Berne

Richard S. Berne’s 42 years of legal experience form the cornerstone of the criminal defense and civil litigation practice of his Portland, Maine law firm. The Law Office of Richard S. Berne is uniquely qualified to effectively represent criminal defendants in a wide range of white collar and criminal defense cases and plaintiffs in civil litigation in State and Federal Courts in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

No matter the setting, we effectively communicate to each client the intricate details surrounding criminal investigative and prosecution procedures, the judicial process and the choices available, and bring to bear our considerable insight and judgment in recommending the best possible resolution. First and foremost the Law Office of Richard S. Berne seeks to resolve cases without prosecution. Alternatively, we bring our decades of experience to bear in reaching fair and reasonable resolutions often without serious felony convictions or incarceration. However, if necessary, we are well equipped to vigorously represent clients at trial in federal or state criminal courts.

Richard Berne has handled a variety of cases in State and Federal courts including (but not limited to) drug crimes, fraud defense, embezzlement, larceny, assault, OUI, traffic violations, felony possession of a firearm, burglary, kidnapping, manslaughter, criminal threatening, protection order violations, habitual offender crimes, and more.

Fraud and Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a criminal offense that involves the misappropriation of funds that have been entrusted to an individual, typically by an employer. It is often referred to as a form of “theft by deception,” as it involves deceiving the rightful owner of the funds in order to take possession of them. Employee theft is a common form of embezzlement. The definition of embezzlement can vary depending on the jurisdiction, but in the United States, it is defined by the 18 U.S. Code Chapter 31, which provides a broad definition of the offense and a list of codes that address various forms of embezzlement.


Drug and Narcotics Crimes

The issue of drug trafficking has become a major problem in the United States, and Maine is not immune to its effects. The prevalence of drugs in Maine communities has led to a surge in drug overdoses and related medical emergencies. To combat this issue, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, local law enforcement, and federal agencies are working together to reduce drug trafficking in the state and protect lives and futures. For those facing drug crime accusations in the Portland, Maine area, it is crucial to seek the representation of a skilled drug crimes defense attorney. While charges may have merit, the right legal representation can make a significant impact on the outcome of a case and potentially reduce penalties.


Grand Larceny, Robbery, and Theft

Larceny is a criminal offense that involves the theft of personal property, as defined in Maine Revised Statute Title 17-A, §353 as “theft by unauthorized taking or transfer.” It is a serious offense that is classified as a white-collar crime and can also be charged as a federal offense. If you or someone you know has been charged with larceny, the Law Office of Richard Berne can provide the necessary legal assistance. With the guidance of a skilled Portland theft defense attorney who has extensive knowledge of state and federal laws, individuals facing larceny charges have a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome and avoiding maximum penalties.



Under Maine Law, OUI is defined in Title 29-A §2411 as a criminal offense that involves operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person is considered intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher. The level of alcohol intoxication is measured by determining the concentration of alcohol in 210 liters of breath or 100 milliliters of blood. If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is critical to secure the services of an experienced Portland OUI defense attorney. With Richard Berne’s extensive experience and knowledge of state law and local courts, individuals can receive the representation they need to navigate this complex legal process.



Assault is defined as intentionally causing bodily harm or making offensive physical contact with another person, according to Title 17-A, §207 of Maine state law. It can happen anywhere and at any time, with just one person inflicting harm on another. Even if you accidentally hurt someone, they can accuse you of assault. Malice is not necessary for it to be considered an assault. However, if an adult harms a child under six years old and causes injury, the charges become even more severe, and the penalties are accordingly harsher.