Lewiston, ME asked in Criminal Law for Maine

Q: At my second arraignment, can I ask for a court appointed lawyer if I was not offered one at the first arraignment?

I wasn't offered a lawyer because I don't face any jail time, but I would like to speak with one to discuss details about my case that may get it dropped.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Hunter J Tzovarras
Hunter J Tzovarras
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Bangor, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: The right to have a court-appointed lawyer only applies if you are facing jail time. You could hire a lawyer but the court won't appoint a lawyer in a case you don't face the risk of jail. There may be certain exceptions, such as if there are immigration consequences if you were convicted. If that applies to your case you should let the Judge know. There Amy be a defense lawyer for the day present that you can ask to talk with next time you are in court.

William T. Bly Esq agrees with this answer

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

A: I'm not sure why you're having a second arraignment as you should only be arraigned once. The purpose of an arraignment is to be apprised of the nature of the charges by the court, at which time you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you're not facing a risk of jail (the DA indicates at the arraignment if there is a risk of jail in your case), you are not constitutionally entitled to a court appointed attorney. In order to qualify for a court appointed attorney, you must meet certain criteria, which includes financial criteria AND the fact that you're facing a risk of jail, which you're not in your case. With all of that said, you can ask to speak with the Lawyer of the Day (LOD), who is there solely to assist members of the public during the arraignment proceedings, and ask that he speak with the DA on your behalf. Perhaps the LOD can get the charges dropped. If not, you'll have to either represent yourself at future court proceedings or retain an attorney.

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