PORTLAND LEGAL CENTER PA - Legal Services at Reasonable Cost Since 1987.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

         Your freedom is important to you. If you are convicted of a crime, your freedom can be severly limited. The obvious way in which your freedom is limited is jail. Many offenses have minimum mandatory sentences. Time in jail can affect your job, income and family. You may lose or job or social security benefits. You may have your freedom restricted by probation. Probation restrictions can restrict your freedom as to who you may associate with, where you may go and where you may live. You can have restrictions as to the possession or consumption of alcohol. You may be required to get counseling. You may be subject to random searches and testing without the need for probable cause. And, of course, if you violate any of these restrictions you may me going back to jail.

          Convictions can have many other cosequences that can affect your life. If you are convicted of a felony or a domestic violence offense you will be prohibeted from owning firearms. If you are not a United States citizen conviction of many offenses can result in deportation. If you are a U.S. citizen it can interfere with foriegn travel. Even an offense such as an OUI will bar you from entering Canada for a period of time. Convicted felons can not vote in many states, although they can vote in Maine. Under Homeland Security provisions many crimes can affect your ability to hold a commercial driver's license, even ones having nothing to do with operating a motor vehicle. You may not be able to get a Transportation Workers' Identification Card also known as a TWIC card.

            A criminal conviction can affect your career. Employers will consider it when evaluating your qualifications. Certain convictions will bar you from holding some professional licenses.

            Because of the great many negative consequences of a criminal conviction it is important that you retain an attorney. Criminal law is not a "do it yourself" business.The District Attorneys love it when people walk in and plead guilty at arraignment. It means that they do not have to deal with the problems your case might have. One thing that you will never see is an attorney that is charged with a crime, no matter how minor, who is not represented by counsel.

           It is very important to hire a lawyer sooner that later. The best time is immediately after you have been summonesed or arrested. You may lose rights and defenses if you delay.

          I am an experienced attorney who has been practicing law in Maine for 25 years. I can help you to understand the charges against you and defenses that may be available to the charges. A competent defense attorney can work with you to minimize the harm to you from your situation. Motions can secure additional "discovery" and may be used to keep certain evidence out of your case. These things can help you to obtain the best result through negotiations or trial. I would be pleased to talk to you about your case. Please give me a call at 773-7817. Edward Daigle