Brooklyn, NY asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Federal Crimes for Maine

Q: How long does 1st appearance in Maine take? Can you go to bathroom in the middle? At what point are you considered done?

1 Lawyer Answer
William T. Bly Esq
William T. Bly Esq
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Biddeford, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: There is a difference between an initial appearance and an arraignment. An initial appearance is reserved for felony charges. At that hearing, the judge will discuss the charges with you, ensure you understand the maximum penalties allowed by law (if convicted), set bail (if not already set) and give you a new court date. It doesn't usually take more than 5 minutes. 10 max.

Arraignments are different. At the arraignment, the judge will not only read to you the charge, but he/she will take your plea of guilty or not guilty. The arraignment process is lengthy, but not because of your particular case. Instead, it is a lengthy process where you have to watch a looooong video that explains to you all of your legal rights. You MUST be present for the entire video or the judge won't take your name. In addition, the judge has a long list of defendants to get through after the video and depending on what your last name starts with, you might be waiting for an hour or more. So, going to the bathroom ahead of time is probably a good idea.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.