Often when accused of Marijuana Possession in Maine or a more severe charge, a maze of questions arise “Is this a civil violation or a criminal charge?”, “am I going to be sent to jail?”, “How much does a conviction cost?”, “What are the penalties for Marijuana Possession in Maine”, and so on. With so many questions, what is the first step when you are accused of Marijuana Charges in Maine?
One of the first things you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the court process. This way you will begin to understand what you are about to have to do. Let’s start by reviewing the court process when you are accused of Marijuana charges in Maine.
Maine Criminal Defense Attorney, Chris A. Nielsen, is well known in Maine for providing excellent legal representation for those accused of violating Maine Marijuana Laws. If you take the opportunity to call him, your calls are routed directly to his competent staff and him. He can help by answering preliminary questions, helping you with your pending court date, and providing a realistic, detailed review of what to expect in court.
Arrest for Marijuana Charges in Maine
A civil violation or criminal charge for marijuana begins usually with some interaction with law enforcement or drug enforcement agency (DEA). Here are some of the ways that law enforcement might become involved:
- In-person contact: If you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, in the course of the stop law enforcement may notice signs of the drug, such as the distinct smell of marijuana emanating from the car or the presence of paraphernalia, such as a pipe, observable inside the car. These observable signs of the drug have the risk of turning a traffic stop into a car search.
- The Tip-off: Sometimes law enforcement can receive information from the community about potential marijuana activity or cultivation on a neighbor’s property or home.
- Undercover Law Enforcement: In an effort to expose drug trafficking networks, drug enforcement agencies sometimes use undercover law enforcement officers to purchase drugs from a suspect.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. Overall, because of the nature of drug-related investigations, it is important to assert your constitutional rights. Never allow a police officer to enter your home without a warrant. A simple invitation for a police officer to “look around” is an invitation for them to look everywhere, and you would be held responsible for what the officers found.
If drug enforcement or law enforcement officers believe that they have grounds for probable cause that you committed a marijuana-related crime, then you may be arrested and taken into custody accused of Marijuana Charges in Maine.
Arraignment for Marijuana Charges in Maine
Depending on the severity of the marijuana-related charge, bail may or may not be set at an amount you can afford. If you cannot make bail, then you would wait in jail up to a few days before your initial appearance at Court, referred to as Arraignment. At Arraignment, you appear in front of a judge, who reads the details of the charge to you. Arraignment is your opportunity to answer to the charge. When you are facing any criminal charges, you should always plead Not Guilty.
Pretrial Motions for Marijuana Charges in Maine
In drug-related cases, your Maine criminal defense lawyer should be keen to find out if any of the State’s evidence was obtained in a way that violates your constitutional civil rights. If the evidence was obtained in violation of your civil rights, then the evidence can be suppressed, meaning that it cannot be entered into evidence at trial. Your criminal defense lawyer would submit a Motion to Suppress, after which a Suppression Hearing would be heard by the Judge. The Judge will determine whether the evidence can be used at trial. It would be beneficial for the defendant if the Suppression Motion were granted by the Court.
If questionable evidence can be suppressed, and that evidence was crucial to the State’s case, then it is in your interest to have the case dismissed for lack of evidence or go to trial to expose the weaknesses in the State’s case.
Dispositional Hearing for Marijuana Charges in Maine
The second significant court date is a dispositional hearing, called a Dispositional Conference or Docket Call in Maine. This court date presents an opportunity for the District Attorney and Defense counsel to meet to negotiate a resolution of the case without the necessity of a trial.
If you were charged criminally as a medical marijuana patient, this is where your lawyer should introduce this helpful evidence to the State. If no resolution is reached at the dispositional hearing, then the case progresses to a trial.
Trial on Marijuana Charges in Maine
Most drug-related cases never get to a trial. As a Maine criminal defense lawyer, I prefer to take drug cases to trial only if the facts favor of the defendant or the State’s case is weak or tenuous. Ultimately, every case has its own unique facts. To find out how your case would fare at trial, you need to speak with a Maine criminal defense attorney and retain their expert legal services.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Chris Nielsen
If you or someone you know is accused of marijuana charges in Maine, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced Maine criminal defense attorney. We will take the time to assure we answer all your questions and put your mind at ease.