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Do Police Have to Read You Your Rights?

Police have an obligation to read you your Miranda warnings before conducting a custodial interrogation. An interrogation means that the questions are designed to elicit an incriminating response. Meaning, routine questions such as what your name is, your address, and your date of birth are not considered to be interrogative. However, arrests can occur without a reading of Miranda as long as no incriminating questions are being asked of you. But, if police choose to interrogate you at any time after arresting you, your rights must be read to you before any questioning occurs.

In addition to being interrogated, you also must be in police custody in order for the Miranda laws to apply. Custody means that your freedom of action must be deprived in some way. Maine courts have traditionally held that an interrogation is custodial if a reasonable person in your shoes would have felt that he or she was not at liberty to end the interrogation and leave. Being in custody may mean that you are in handcuffs, in a police cruiser, at the police station, or other similar scenarios where you are not free to leave at your own will. But ultimately, there are many factors that are considered by courts in determining whether you were truly in police custody, which is why consulting with an attorney can be important.

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After getting an OUI/DUI in Maine, there is often lots of questions that may come into your mind.  Most of them have answers that can be found.  One that is much harder to track down is the costs and fees that come from an OUI in Maine.

Court Costs

A first offense OUI is a Class D crime, which has a maximum jail sentence of 364 days, and a maximum fine of $2,000.  The mandatory minimum penalties are a fine of $500, plus court fees. Court costs often change due to added surcharges which are 20% or more of the actual fine amount, therefore the $500 fine really ends up being closer to $650. If you refused to submit to a test, you will then face a mandatory minimum fine of $600 plus the 20% or more  surcharge so the fine would be around $785.

best-criminal-lawyer-400x284-1-300x213What Charges Affect Student Loans?

If you have been charged with a violation, you are probably wondering where else this charge may affect you, other than with the law. One area that you may be affected is through schooling. If you are incarcerated, you would have limited eligibility for the federal student aid program. But once you are released, many of those limitations are removed. There are, however, a few charges that limit your aid eligibility even after being released.

If you are receiving or applying for federal student aid, there is a chance that past criminal charges may affect you. For instance, the FAFSA, a form used by many college students to apply for federal financial aid for college or graduate school, will ask whether you have had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving aid. If your answer to this question is “yes,” you will be provided with a worksheet to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. This does not necessarily mean that you are entirely ineligible to receive federal funding, but it may mean that you are ineligible for a certain period of time.

IMG_1864-300x200What should I do first?

You should call a lawyer right away. If you have not been arrested but think you might be soon, your lawyer could set up an arrangement to allow you to turn yourself in rather than have the PD show up to your house or even your job. If the PD is reaching out to you to get your side of the story, you should not speak to them without a lawyer present. This may be your chance to give your side of the story, but it is more likely that things will only get worse after this interview.

What should I do to help my case?

IMG_1832x-286x300By: Attorney Vincent S. LoConte

What is the question?

Often in a traffic stop when an officer suspects impairment, they will ask the question “on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being sober and 10 being pass out drunk, how would you rate yourself”. Seems like a straight forward question, but is it really fair, and is there a right and wrong answer?

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By:  Webb Law Intern Kayla Estes

Is Marijuana Legal Under Federal Law?

Marijuana is currently illegal under federal law. Federal law divides each drug into a “schedule” classification according to its properties. Schedule I drugs include almost all illegal drugs, while Schedule V drugs are the least addicting, such as some cough medicines. Schedule I drugs carry the most severe punishments under federal law.

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Maine’s Move Over Law: Safety for Police Officers and Safety for You

Saco and Portland Maine Criminal Lawyer Katherine Campbell

By: Maine Criminal Defense Attorney Katherine M. Campbell

It is well known that when you see an emergency vehicle driving up behind you with its lights or siren activated, you pull over. But one important law that many motorists fail to follow is Maine’s “Move Over” law which also requires you to move over when an emergency vehicle is stationary on the side of the road.

Maine OUI Field Sobriety Tests

When you are stopped and the officer suspects impairment, they will utilize field sobriety tests to determine possible impairment due to alcohol or drugs. Your performance on these field sobriety tests is used by the officer to develop probable cause for arrest and as evidence in court.

Standardized Tests Versus Non-Standardized Tests

A wide variety of field sobriety tests exist and range in terms of reliability and weight if used in court. There are three standardized tests that are meant to be done identically by every officer to yield the most accurate results. There are also many more non-standardized tests that hold less evidentiary weight, but still can be used by an officer. The three standardized tests are Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand.

Saco ME OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb

By Saco ME OUI Lawyer John Scott Webb, Super Lawyer and Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Criminal Attorney With Top Lawyer Ratings

Operating under the influence (OUI) in Maine is the same charge as a misdemeanor offense called “driving under the influence” or DUI in other states. A few states use the acronym “OWI” which means operating while intoxicated. If you are vacationing in Maine and get arrested for OUI, your home state’s motor vehicle department (DMV) will receive notice and you may face consequences back home.  Therefore it is wise to at least talk to an experienced OUI lawyer who has offered his legal services for over 20 years in Saco ME and Portland ME.

Being charged with an OUI means that you were driving or trying to operate a vehicle (that’s any motorized vehicle) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Maine Lawyers Katie Campbell and John Webb

Revised September 20, 2019 by John Webb and Katie Campbell

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The Difference Between Sexual Assault and Rape Charges

If you have been charged with sex crime charges, you need to understand the allegations so your criminal law attorney can respond (on your behalf) accordingly. The first thing to do is not talk to any police investigator without legal representation by an experienced sex crimes attorney. Only those convicted will be placed on the registered sex offender list.

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