Criminal Defense for Portland Maine Drug Crimes

smoking marijuana

Portland Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer

An  arrest for a drug crime in Maine is a serious matter and requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.  A conviction will have a long-term impact on your life including a  criminal record which will impact your ability to secure housing, a job or a student loan. If you are facing drug charges, it is important to contact a Portland criminal defense attorney immediately.

Maine Drug Schedules

Maine Revised Statutes Title 17-A, Chapter 45 §1102 categorizes drugs by schedule.

The least serious is Schedule Z which includes marijuana and codeine as well some basic prescription drugs which are possessed without a valid prescription.

Schedule W drugs are  the most serious and include drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone among others.

You may face a charge of possession, trafficking, or cultivation , all of which may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony charge depending on certain factors.

Criminal Charge Classifications

All criminal charges in are classified  as Class A through Class E crimes under Maine statutes. Drug crimes may be charged as misdemeanors (Class D and E)  up to the most serious felony, a Class A crime.

A conviction for a Class E crime may result in fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months. Class A felonies   can result in fines of up to $50,000 and up to 30 years in prison.

Increased Charges Always a Possibility

One overlooked potential is for charges to be increased by the prosecutor, regardless of the initial charges filed against you.

Most prosecutors will ultimately file multiple charges . Depending on the quantity you have in your possession, you could be facing trafficking charges, distribution charges, or manufacturing charges.

Common Drug Charges You Could be Facing

Here are some of the common types of drug charges in Maine:

  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Drug Cultivation
  • Prescription Drug Fraud 

Maine Marijuana Laws and Criminal Charges

While medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 2009,  recreational marijuana was  legalized only recently and the rules regarding recreational marijuana have not been promulgated as yet.  However, even after the rules become effective, it will still be illegal to possess more than a small amount of marijuana .  Moreover, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and the United  States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)  prosecutes cases involving substantial amount of marijuana despite state laws to the contrary.

The new marijuana laws forbid possession of edibles, unless you have a prescription allowing you to purchase them. You are also limited in the amount of marijuana you may have in your possession at any one time, currently two and-a-half ounces. Under no circumstances may you use marijuana in any public space, and 0f course you may not use marijuana while operating a motor vehicle.

Words of Caution to Maine Renters

Maine recreational marijuana laws allow a property owner to grow plants with certain restrictions. First, each plant must be labeled with your name and your Maine driver’s license or identification number attached.

Those who are renting property must have the permission of the property owner to cultivate marijuana on the property and the plants must not visible from a public way and secured to prevent access by anyone under the age of 21.

Arrested and Facing Charges? Contact Richard Berne Today!

If you are arrested for a drug charge or any other criminal charge for that matter, you should never answer any questions from the police until you have spoken with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Even if your arrest is for what you believe is lawful possession of marijuana, you should avoid answering questions without an attorney. However, you should produce your marijuana  patient card if appropriate.  Always keep in mind that anything you say to law enforcement may be used against you in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

The potential penalties for a drug conviction are serious and a conviction will put  your freedom at risk. Thus  you need the assistance of an experienced attorney who will take the time necessary to investigate thoroughly the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence the prosecutor has against you as well as to develop a strong defense against any charges you are facing.

Do not take risks with your freedom or your future if you are arrested in the Portland Maine area and facing either a state or federal drug charge. Contact the Law Office of Richard S. Berne at 207-871-7770 for a free consultation.