When considering a defense lawyer in Portland, Maine, remember that the lawyer you hire will be representing you both in and out of court and that you will be relying on him or her to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. It’s important to think long and hard about that lawyer’s qualifications and experience and to determine whether that lawyer is equipped to obtain a favorable outcome for you
Know Your Rights
Maine’s criminal laws are defined in Title 17-A of the Maine Criminal Code, which can be accessed in PDF form here. As a defendant, you may wish to look up the statute of limitations in your case or to review the potential punishments including the potential jail time an fines associated with the crimes for which you are presently accused. Because laws vary from state to state, it is important for you to choose a lawyer who defends defendants charged with general crimes such as drug charges and assaults and those charged with white collar crimes. Such a lawyer has the kind of experience you need and is more likely to have successfully defended numerous clients in the Portland, Maine courts. The state criminal code will give you a general idea of the crimes described but there are many factors that could affect the outcome of your case, such as previous convictions and any unique facts in your specific case. Every case is different even where different individuals are charged with the same offense and each case must be analyzed with this in mind.
Mounting a Defense
We are experts in Maine criminal defense. Before you hire a defense lawyer to represent you, it’s best to set a goal for yourself. First, you have to seek bail so you are at liberty while your case is pending. Here are some potential goals that an experienced criminal lawyer may obtain for you
1. Obtain a dismissal of all charges;
2. Negotiate for a plea agreement with terms favorable to his or her client. (which is usually results in a lesser charge and/or no jail time);
3. Prepare the case for trial and seek an acquittal.
It is important to understand the elements of your charges and the maximum consequences if you were to be found guilty either by pleading guilty or after a trial. Be careful of choosing an attorney based on advertising alone. Every Portland criminal law firm will offer glowing statements of their qulifications, but you should research a specific lawyer’s background and expereince in defending cases like yours.
Does the Attorney Specialize in Your Kind of Case?
In our experience, there are many different skill sets that apply to different kinds of cases in the field of Portland defense law. Attorneys tend to specialize in certain types of cases and thereby develop greater knowledge and experience in handling those cases. For example, mounting a defense for tax evasion differs from mounting a defense for armed robbery. In a tax evasion case, there are ordinarily numerous documents in addition to tax returns which must be carefully studied and analyzed. In addition, defense counsel often must obtain records from financial institutions and tax preparers and interview these people to understand his or her client’s tax strategy and tax returns. In an armed robbery case, evidence obtained at the crime scene must be analyzed and any witnesses including potential alibi witnesses must be found and interviewed. The prosecutor’s theory of the case must be determined, studied and hopefully refuted by evidence disproving its merit. Thus defendants seeking a defense lawyer must assure themselves that their lawyer possesses the required skill and experience to handle the type of charge he or she is facing.
We Look for Facts Because Maine Courts Are Fact-Finding Institutions
As a criminal defense law firm working in the Portland area, we have specific knowledge of judges, prosecutors and court personnel in each court in the region. We have been trying cases in these courts for years, and gained insight into how these courts function. We know how different judges react to various arguments and strategies and what kinds of defenses have successfully obtained acquittals for our clients in the past. We are committed to spending as much time with you as necessary to gain a complete understanding of your personal background and the circumstances surrounding the charges against you. If you need a free case evaluation, we invite you to arrange to meet with us in person or by phone if necessary. We recognize that facing criminal charges is a difficult, emotional situation, and are here to help you navigate the legal system and to obtain a satisfactory result.