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Edmund R. Folsom
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Edmund Folsom’s Answers

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  • Question for MAINE lawyer------What are the barriors for a defense attorney?

    We were told that despite the overwhelming differences in the plaintiffs statements, the defense attorney could NOT bring the differences to the courts attention, UNLESS the prosecution were to raise the issues first. Any truth to this?

    Edmund’s Answer

    It is impossible to answer this question in any meaningful way. The rules of evidence govern the admissibility of statements at a trial. Those rules are complex, and how they apply in a given circumstance is entirely fact specific. As a general matter, the barriers or limits on a defense attorney are the strictures that are created by the rules of evidence, the particular statements at issue and the purpose for which the attorney would seek to introduce the statements into evidence. But that's a generality that won't mean much to you. It's the particulars that matter, and nobody can address the particulars without knowing the particulars. This forum isn't an appropriate place to get into the particulars. If you want a second opinion, you need to consult with another attorney who can review the case and provide an informed answer to your questions.

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  • Is there anyway to have a misdemeanor charge removed from my record?

    When we were 18 a friend and I got caught shoplifting. When we went to our court date we were offered a deal. If we paid $100 and stayed out of trouble for a year it wouldn't end up on our record. 8 years later, I have a routine background check d...

    Edmund’s Answer

    When you describe an arrangement where you were supposed to avoid trouble for a year and end up with no theft charge on your record, you seem to be describing a filing of the charge for 1 year on $100.00 court costs. If that was your deal, and if the year passed without trouble, the charge was to be dismissed at the end of that year. A filed charge that was dismissed 7 or so years ago should not be disclosed publicly. Of course, if the prospective employer who found the information is a law enforcement agency, that's a different matter, because they get to see everything. If information about a case that was dismissed after filing is showing up on your publicly available criminal history report, you can contact Maine's State Bureau of Identification (SBI), at 207-624-7240, and have them correct the error. You can find out what appears on your publicly available criminal history report by ordering a copy of your own SBI online from the SBI's website and paying the fee with a credit card.

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  • Will I go to jail for Criminal Speeding? Going 56 in a 25 in Maine.

    I have no marks on my license. I have never been pulled over before. I have had my license for a year but am over 18. It was late at night and I was driving on route 2. I just want to plead guilty and pay my fine, but I'm so afraid of going to jail.

    Edmund’s Answer

    You should really shoot for more than to just avoid jail. You should try to avoid a criminal conviction as well. I highly recommend that you talk to an attorney and try to negotiate a disposition that involves dismissal of the criminal charge and a plea to a traffic infraction for speed less than 30 mph over the limit. All the lawyers who are telling you this are not only saying it because we are lawyers, but because it's a really bad idea to suffer a criminal conviction if there's a chance to avoid it.

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  • Two oas within one month. Maine. Advice needed. Looking for advice,hire a lawyer?

    21 male with no criminal history,a couple minor speeding tickets and one oas from the past. A few years ago I was given a court date that I never received any notice for,leading to a suspened license and being arrested one night after being pull...

    Edmund’s Answer

    It looks like you are headed for habitual offender status if you are convicted of the two pending OAS charges. You sorely need to try to avoid conviction of at least one of them.

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  • If charges have not been filed with the DA and someone drops the charges with the PD can they decide to change their mind?

    Reason I ask is that a neighbor came to my door with malicious intent and instigated an altercation with me after I had asked her to leave my door twice. She was nose to nose with me and saying "hit me hit me hit me" while spitting on my face, I s...

    Edmund’s Answer

    People are often confused thinking that an alleged victim controls whether charges are "dropped" or pursued. Alleged victims do not control that decision. It is possible that the police turned the case over to the D.A. for a complaint and the D.A. decided not to pursue charges. If that was the D.A.'s decision, the chances are that decision isn't going to change whether your upstairs neighbor wants charges pursued or not. Your immediate problem, though, is that you were summonsed to appear in court, and if the D.A. does file a complaint against you and you don't show up, a warrant will issue for you. If you call the court and they tell you the D.A. issued a "no complaint," you know you are safe not to attend your arraignment. But if you call the clerk and they say there is nothing filed yet, you should either go to court on the arraignment date or have an attorney enter an appearance and not guilty plea for you, to be sure you don't end up with a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear.

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  • Can i be extradited from maine to massachusetts on a bench warrant for driving under the influence of prescription drugs?

    Went to arraignment in massachsetts for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, 6 years ago.

    Edmund’s Answer

    Massachusetts can certainly pursue extradition if they choose.

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  • Can a judge overrule the terms of a DUI plea offer?

    First offense DUI in Maine. BAC .13, no aggravating factors. Not facing jail time. DA offered to reduce charge to DTE provided I complete 48 hour ASP, which I would have to pay to do and hesitant to because of sleep, physical issues that may limit...

    Edmund’s Answer

    The way you ask this question makes me think you have an attorney who has negotiated a DTE plea for you involving ASP. You seem to want your attorney to ask the judge to sentence you on the DTE charge but not impose a jail sentence that may be served in an ASP. The way the system works, D.A.'s are members of the executive branch of government, so they are the only ones who can choose what charge to bring against you. The judge is a member of the judicial branch and has no control over the charge. On the other hand, the judge gets to decide what sentence to impose, and the D.A., as a member of the executive branch, has no control over that. When you reach a plea agreement with the D.A., you have an agreement as to the charge you will plead to and the sentence that will be recommended to the court. Again, the judge has no control over that charge. In your circumstance, the plea agreement calls for a joint recommendation of ASP, which means, as part of the agreement, you are agreeing that both you and the State will recommend that the court should impose that sentence. If your lawyer tries to treat components of the agreement as a la carte selections, that will violate the plea agreement. The D.A. will simply tell the court that the agreement calls for you to jointly recommend the ASP, your lawyer has decided not to join in that recommendation, so the agreement is off and the State is reverting to the original OUI charge. The court will have no power to stop this, because the D.A. controls what charge to bring and you will have manifested rejection of the plea agreement. As attorney Nielsen points out, courts have the power to reject a joint recommendation on sentence, because they have the ultimate say on the sentence. If a judge decides the sentence is too lenient, the judge can reject the joint recommendation and give you the opportunity to withdraw your plea and go back to the drawing board. Very rarely, a judge will decide, on her own, without urging from the defense, that a sentence on a joint recommendation is too harsh. In that case, the judge can override the joint recommendation and impose a more lenient sentence (I've seen this done twice that I can recall in 30 years of practice). But again, if you want to argue against the ASP called-for under your plea agreement, the D.A. is not going to go through with the part of the agreement that lets you plead to DTE. If you want to have a charge reduced and still be allowed to argue for a sentence less than the D.A. is seeking, you need a recommendation with a "cap" on sentence that allows your attorney to argue for less. In your circumstance, I doubt very much that the D.A. will agree to let you argue to eliminate the jail term (ASP). This sort of recommendation usually involves a tradeoff: you can plead to a DTE, but you have to pay a price for it, and that price is an ASP sentence.

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  • Getting my license back after dui

    Lost my license years ago(first offense) and completed all sentencing requirements. At the time I had a NH licenses, now live in ME. I know I need my LDAC to right a letter as well as myself, but don't know who to send it to or really what my next...

    Edmund’s Answer

    Contact the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 207-626-8600, and talk to them about meeting DEEP requirements.

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  • Possession of alcohol, and marijuana. What am I looking at for punishment?

    I was pulled over for speeding, and walked away with 3 court summons. I am 17. I got a summons for having an open bottle of alcohol in my car, which was not drank or anything. I also got a summons for having weed on me, about a gram and a summons ...

    Edmund’s Answer

    The alcohol, marijuana possession and drug possession charges are all "juvenile crimes." You should consult with an attorney who handles juvenile offenses. Given your lack of juvenile offense history, you might be afforded an opportunity to have your case informally adjusted, through a meeting with a juvenile community corrections officer before your court date. Even then, you should consult with an attorney who handles juvenile work, so the attorney can help you take advantage of that opportunity.

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  • How much jail time can you get for a VCOR and a warrent

    My spouse just got aressted an hour ago for a warrent because he missed a court date. And he has another one on Monday for a VCOR because needle were found at his place. How much jail time will he receive?

    Edmund’s Answer

    There are so many factors that go into sentencing that it isn't possible to accurately answer a question like this. Most charges of violation of conditions of release are Class E crimes, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 6 months, and a maximum fine of $1,000.00. That's the most a person can possibly receive for the offense, no matter how bad are the conduct and the person's criminal record. But, your husband missed a court date for some other charge, and who knows what that charge is, or what kind of a criminal record he has, or how egregious or not egregious are the alleged facts of the underlying charge, or whether the state's evidence is strong or weak? Only someone familiar with the entire set of facts, such as an attorney handling your husband's case, can assess what penalties your husband is realistically facing.

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