Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

The State of Maine updated its laws is a new way to classify crimes. Instead of just misdemeanors and felonies, there are now five different classes of crimes in the Pine Tree State. In most places, criminal offenses are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. But in Maine, the State uses a different structure of criminal punishment.

Our state’s criminal offenses are divided into five classes: A, B, C, D, and E.

Each class of crime has its own maximum punishment. Class A crimes bring the most severe punishments. For example, A, B, and C crimes are felony offenses, with C class crimes being the least punitive of the felony classification crimes. Crime classes D and E are misdemeanor crimes, with potential jail sentences capped at 364 days. This means there are more options for a wide variety of punishments. It’s important to know which class your charges fall into and what penalties you could face. An example would be an arrest for possession of marijuana which is a serious criminal charge that one of our Saco and Portland criminal lawyers can handle for you. Or you may be facing an operating under the influence of alcohol charge (OUI-Alcohol) even if you blew under a 0.08 on the breathalyzer machine.

Maine criminal lawyer John Webb explains what makes a traffic stop legal in Portland and Saco Maine.
By Webb Law Firm, With Law Offices Near Me in Portland Maine and Saco ME

No other nation besides the United States has the Fourth Amendment protections that require a police officer to have information of a crime having been committed before “seizing” a person. When a driver is on the highway, the act of a government law officer seizing that person happens by signaling with emergency lights, using siren or even hand signals, to pull over.

Since the US Supreme Court clarified the issue in 1961, in Mapp v. Ohio, the federal constitutional rule applies to both state and federal officers. Many of the nation’s best criminal cases have been appeals from DUI lawyers near me made after an officer acted on a hunch, and did not have reasonable suspicion.

By Maine OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb Serving Saco and Portland ME

Maine criminal defense lawyer John Webb explains how marijuana has become legal but only in certain situations.
OUI roadblocks near me are sobriety checkpoints where police officers stop every vehicle—or a certain number of vehicles at random—to search for intoxicated drivers. These DUI roadblocks appear more frequently around holidays, when driving under the influence is more common.

This legal article explores a driver’s right to not pass through these license checks near me. So long as no traffic crime is committed, a citizen can opt to not wait for the line of drivers to be checked, and depart in the opposite direction.

Maine criminal defense lawyer John Webb explains how marijuana has become legal but only in certain situations.
As a Maine DUI lawyer near me I talk to people every month who were arrested for OUI in Southern Maine. An alarming number of those people are truly surprised at their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Many tell me they “paced themselves” to one drink per hour. For most people this pace is a recipe for disaster.

A Brief History of Alcohol Calculations

Scientists have studied alcohol for many years. In the early years of the 20th century a Swedish physician, Dr. Widmark, did extensive research. Based on his research he devised a formula for calculating blood-alcohol levels based on the amount of alcohol consumed, the person’s weight, their gender, and the amount of time that passed since first drinking. This formula then predicts a range for the person’s blood-alcohol level or concentration (BAC.) This is the formula that is used in virtually all smart phone calculators or the “drink wheel/calculators” sold. It is also the basis for the claim that one drink per hour will protect you from driving under the influence.

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The four criminal lawyers near me at Webb Law Maine. When searching for attorneys nearby in Southern Maine, Webb Law Firm's criminal law attorneys can handle your state or federal criminal charges.
Maine criminal defense attorneys should protect a defendant’s legal rights while ensuring that Portland and Saco courts don’t wrongfully impose excessive sentences for convictions. If you face an allegation or criminal charge, you need to consult with the best criminal defense attorney near me.

The Webb Law Firm is one of the most highly-rated law firms in Southern Maine that provides dedicated criminal defense attorneys. John Webb and Vincent S. LoConte are two top-rated criminal attorneys in Portland ME who tenaciously will protect your rights for the duration of your case.

Criminal Lawyers Near Me in Saco and Portland ME

By: Southern Maine OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb, Martindale Hubbell Distinguished and Super Lawyer

Maine DUI lawyer John Webb of Webb Law Firm explains how cops can arrest you for OUI even if your car is parked and the engine is off. Can you drink in a parked car?

In Maine you can be charged with DUI even when you are not driving. Every state has a law that says it is illegal to drive under the influence or operate under the influence (OUI).  What many people do not realize is that most states have some variation of this law that allows police to charge you even when you are not actually driving (DUI parked car). Can you drink in a parked car? I highly recommend you don’t do that, even if you are in your own driveway.

Depending on the state, a person can often be charged with attempting to drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Usually the DUI conviction penalties are the same as for driving under the influence.

A Maine operating under the influence conviction can lead to the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. You must pass a breath test before your car will start.
Ten years ago the Maine Legislature changed the driver’s license suspension penalties for an OUI offense, which directly impacts a person’s continued driving privileges. These changes went into effect December 1, 2013. They affect only those OUIs that occurred after midnight on November 30, 2013.

Some of the changes affect only a few people. The length of suspension for some repeat offenders increased. Also, some repeat offenders will get their licenses back sooner if they install an Ignition Interlock Device, or DUI interlock. This device acts as a car breathalyzer because a person has to blow into the IID to check their blood alcohol content (BAC) level before the car will start. Its inventors were looking for a way to automatically stop drunk driving.

These changes only affect a few people because these repeat offenders make up a very small percentage of the people who are charged with operating under the influence.

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You may feel as though your privacy is being violated if your neighbor installs a security camera which—inadvertently or otherwise—captures activity in your yard. Yet there are no laws in Maine which prevent a person from installing cameras pointing outwards from their own property.

The law does not treat your backyard or the outside of your home as spaces where you have the reasonable expectation of privacy. Your neighbor is allowed to visually record you in these spaces for the same reason that Google can take satellite images of your land.

If you find yourself in this situation and are uncomfortable, you may try speaking with your neighbor or installing something on your own property to block the camera’s view. These solutions are of course more likely to be effective if your neighbor is well intentioned and your property simply appears in the background of their recording.

IMG_1832x-286x300In Maine, your income makes no difference in how much your ticket will cost. The fine scale is predetermined and applies evenly to everyone, which seems reasonable. But is it really fair? That all depends on who you are and how much money you make. For some, a speeding ticket could be devastating and for others, it could be nothing more than a slight annoyance.

Lets say that you are driving on the interstate with a speed limit of 60MPH and you get a ticket for going 75MPH. The cost for this tickets will likely be around $200. According to, the median household income in Maine is around $55,000 a year. That means that this ticket would be 4.36% of your household income for the month. This would perhaps be a difficult hit, but at the end of the day, would not be the end of the world. It would probably be a good incentive to be more careful and to drive slower in the future. This is exactly the hope of the law makers who set the fee scale for the ticket.

But now lets say that the NFL commissioner gets the same $200 ticket while he is at vacation house in Maine. His income, according to USA Today, is around $40,000,000 a year. That would mean the same ticket would be 0.006% of his monthly income. That type of punishment would be the equivalent of the person making $55,000 a year getting a ticket for around 28 Cents. Is there really any incentive there to follow the speed limit? There are other penalties such as possible license suspension that come with enough points on your license. But if your income is high enough, paying a driver a full time salary would be a realistic option. That is obviously not an alternative for the average Mainer.

A Maine protection order is issued in an effort to protect a spouse or girlfriend from further harrassment and physical abuse by their partner.  These domestic violence orders also can protect any children involved. The no contact order specifies the distance that one person must stay away from the filing party, for example 50 yards. This legal document also lists the prohibited means of communication like no phone calls, no Facebook messages, and no other social media contact.

What If a Temporary Order Is Already in Place?

The first thing you need to be aware of is if there is a temporary order in place when you are served the order. A temporary protection order takes effect as soon as it is signed by a judge. However, the defendant must have actual notice of the temporary order, or have been served with the order, in order to be charged with a crime for violating it. Even if you feel that the allegations are false and the case is eventually found in your favor, the temporary order still must be respected or you could face criminal charges. For example, if the temporary order prohibits you from entering a home you shared with the plaintiff, you will be charged with a crime if you enter the house, even if the plaintiff has invited you. Violation of a temporary protection order is a Class D crime that carries penalties of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

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