College Students Defense Services

Protect your future now by Calling Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Hartley for a free case evaluation:
(207) 941-0999.

If you are pursuing a college degree in Maine, getting arrested and charged with an underage DUI, drug crime or other criminal offense is a scary, unnerving ordeal. Panic may set in as you begin to think about repercussions and what will happen next.

As a college student, you are investing a lot in your future, and one bad event starts to call into question those plans.

Will I Lose My Chosen Career?

All is not lost. Don’t assume you will have to give up on your career goals after an arrest. In fact, I’ve helped restore the future plans for many aspiring college students facing criminal charges in Maine.

I can carefully evaluate the state’s case against you to determine where the best opportunities lay for a positive resolution.

Deferred Disposition

If you are facing a Class C felony or a Class D or E misdemeanor, I may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for a deferred disposition. If you complete the requirements of the deferment during the probationary period, I can act on your behalf and petition the state to drop the charges.

If the prosecutor and judge agree, the charge will be dismissed and you will not have a criminal record.

Some students might also face a disciplinary hearing at their university. The consequences of this hearing can range from expulsion to a notation in your transcripts. Depending on the school’s policies, I may be able to advocate for you during this process.

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Defending College Students

My criminal defense practice in Maine works to protect the rights and futures of college students facing any of a number of offenses, including:

  • Criminal Mischief (vandalism)
    Criminal mischief is a misdemeanor offense against property that did not involve theft. College pranks often result in damage to or destruction of property.
  • Criminal Trespass
    Criminal trespassing includes illegally entering a personal residence, a locked building or other property. Trespassing is usually a misdemeanor offense.
  • Underage DUI
    There are multiple ways a prosecutor can seek to prove an underage OUI / DUI case. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can work to discredit Field Sobriety Tests, officer reports and any chemical/ breathalyzer tests.
  • Under 21 Possession of Marijuana
    Prohibition doesn’t end with alcohol. Underage possession of marijuana is a serious criminal offense that can have far-reaching effects upon the student if convicted.
  • Drug Offenses
    A drug crime conviction can have among the harshest impacts on a student. Without a proper defense, you face strict penalties for possessing or selling even small amounts of a controlled substance such as Adderall or marijuana.
  • Driver’s License Suspensions
    In Maine, your driving privileges are provisional until the age of 21. An alcohol or drug-impaired driving charge will trigger a lengthy license suspension by the BMV. If you get caught driving after a suspension, you face even longer sanctions for Operating After Suspension.
  • Theft Offenses
    Theft crimes can be charged even if the accused didn’t leave the store with an item that wasn’t paid for. Most shoplifting offenses are charged as Class E misdemeanors.
  • Disorderly Conduct
    Disorderly conduct in Maine is charged as a Class E misdemeanor, the least severe penalty level. A conviction for disorderly carries up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to 180 days in jail.

If convicted, the potential punishment for these offenses ranges from mild to severe. Depending on the circumstances, some charges could be elevated to felony crimes. However, if you are a first-time offender, we may negotiate for community service in lieu of jail time.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Works for You

A student facing any kind of charges in Maine should hire a qualified defense lawyer as soon as possible. It is unwise to engage in guesswork or make assumptions about where you stand within the criminal justice system.

Prosecutors are always working toward a conviction, and much of that work takes place without your knowledge. That’s why you need an experienced, local defense attorney representing you at all times.

I aggressively defend your rights throughout this process. I can work with you to protect your interests until the best possible resolution to your case is reached.

DUI Under 21

A driver age 18 to under 21 who operates a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol or drugs in their body can be charged with OUI or operating beyond license restriction in Maine.

Underage drinking and driving charges pose multiple challenges for college students, including:

  • Zero Tolerance Laws in Maine
    Under Zero Tolerance, if you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you can be charged with operating under the influence for any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system.
  • Operating Beyond License Restriction
    This is a separate misdemeanor charge. An underage DUI violates the terms of your provisional license and you can, therefore, be charged with driving without one.
  • Driver’s License Suspension
    You face an administrative license suspension by the BMV that is separate from any court-ordered suspension if convicted for OUI.
  • Underage DUI with Passenger Under 21
    Was someone else who was underage in the car when you were driving? This is an aggravating factor that can add 275 days onto your loss of license time if convicted.
  • Alcohol Education classes
    You will need to complete a Maine Driver Education and Evaluation (DEEP) Program.
  • Jail Time
    Incarceration is typical if you have a prior conviction, your BAC is over .15% or with other aggravating factors.

Before doing anything else, consult with a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense and has experience representing college students.

A college student can take steps to greatly improve their bargaining power with the court and the state. Find out what you should do right now to protect yourself by calling Hartley Law.

Call Attorney Richard Hartley today to get started on your best defense: (207) 941-0999

Can I Lose My Financial Aid?

Federal financial aid can be suspended for most drug offense convictions, including underage possession of marijuana in Maine. Even a misdemeanor conviction for a first-time OUI could result in the loss of any scholarships you receive.

An experienced college student defense lawyer can work toward preventing a conviction against you so you don’t lose your financial aid. You have rights that protect you from unjust prosecution. Contact Hartley Law to learn more.

Your federal financial aid package will not be immediately affected if you are facing a conviction. However, next year’s aid will be in jeopardy of suspension by a criminal conviction entered against you in the current year.

OUI First Offense

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in college, chances are you’ll be charged with OUI first offense. In Maine, the offense falls under OUI laws for “operating under the influence of intoxicants.”

You will be considered a first-time offender if you have no prior DUI arrests in Maine or any other state. A qualified DUI lawyer can leverage this fact to your advantage, allowing you to prevent the OUI charge from becoming a permanent record.

Protecting Your Rights

Impaired driving is a criminal offense that prosecutors take very seriously in Maine. An attorney with a proven success record knows how to analyze the evidence to assess if the police officer was following correct protocols, or if your rights under the law were violated.

I have extensive experience mounting strong defenses against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are a domestic or international college student facing OUI charges in Maine, you need the advice of an attorney who understands all of the implications and how best to mitigate their impact.

I focus on those solutions. Call my office today for a free phone or in-office consultation with me: (207) 941-0999.

criminal defense attorney for college students in maine

For Parents

Your son or daughter has turned to you for help with their legal trouble. They face uncertainty and need to know what will happen to them now, and in the future. I answer those questions. I also talk to you, the parent because I understand you have the same concerns.

In my defense practice, I’ve talked to and met with many parents to provide them with helpful information about the criminal process in Maine. I also give guidance on what steps should be taken in order to obtain the best possible outcome in your child’s case.

Contact Hartley Law today to discuss the case and obtain information and advice. There is no financial obligation on your part.