What are arraignments?

The arraignment is your first opportunity to present your plea to a judge. You may plead "guilty" or "not guilty."

If you plead guilty, the judge will ask you some questions to be sure that you understand that you are giving up some of your constitutional rights. If the judge accepts your guilty plea, he or she will ask the Assistant District Attorney if there are any aggravating circumstances of the case, and will ask for the state's recommendation for a sentence.  The judge will then impose a sentence.

It is very important that you understand your rights at arraignment. The State of Maine has an established a "Lawyer for the Day" program in Portland, which ensures that a private defense attorney is available on your arraignment date to discuss your case with you and provide you with free legal counsel during the arraignment sessions.

You must remember that this lawyer does NOT become your attorney through the remainder of your case, unless you make arrangements to retain him or her as counsel. He or she is in court for arraignments to ensure that all defendants may receive sufficient legal advice regarding their plea on that day.

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1. Who can I talk to about my case?
2. Why can't the District Attorney's Office give me legal advice?
3. What are arraignments?
4. Why can't I talk with an Assistant District Attorney about my case before arraignment?
5. Why can't I have the police report before being arraigned?
6. Do you have a public defender's office?
7. I was just charged with an OUI (Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs) charge. What will happen to me?
8. How do I get bail conditions changed?
9. Why can't I get information on a case with my son or daughter (over 18) /wife / husband / boyfriend / girlfriend?
10. Do I have to show up in court because I got a subpoena?
11. How can I drop charges?
12. How do I contact District Court or Superior Court?