William Ashe emphasizes the importance of consulting with a lawyer promptly in various legal situations.
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: September 30, 2021

I'm covering this topic after a recent phone call to the office.  A very nice individual called about a potential legal issue.  After speaking with him, I am confident that I could have handled his legal situation quite easily for him.  Unfortunately, he was calling me about two weeks after he went to court unrepresented and had pleaded guilty.  After thinking over the situation, he decided he had made the wrong decision and was wondering if there was anything I could do. Regrettably, there was nothing I could do to help at that point.   My posts are designed to help people with information on how to navigate the legal world.  One of the themes that occurs over and over is consulting with an attorney.  Don't attempt to navigate the law by yourself.  Just don't do it.  This isn't a sales pitch; it is free legal advice!  Talk to a lawyer.  If police are looking for you, call a lawyer.  If you get charged with a crime, call a lawyer.  If you have an upcoming court…Read More

William Ashe, Attorney clarifies crime vs. violation, Maine's classes.- Ashe Law Offices
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: August 24, 2021

Criminal law can be fairly confusing. One of the subjects that people occasionally get mixed up is whether something is a crime or not. In law, there are civil violations and crimes. Violations are things like speeding tickets or littering. Violations are not punishable by jail time. The worst thing that can possibly happen in a violation is imposition of a fine (not including any possible collateral consequences which is a topic for another day). Crimes are different from violations because a jail sentence is authorized. In the State of Maine, crimes come in 5 distinct classes that are separated by maximum penalties. Classes D and E are misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a crime where the maximum penalty is up to one year in jail. A felony is a crime where the maximum penalty may exceed one year in jail. Classes A, B, and C are felonies in Maine. Some people often think that misdemeanor offenses are not crimes. I think this is conflating the difference between misdemeanors and felonies. It is important to understand…Read More

Legal advice by William Ashe, Esq. on facing criminal charges.- Ashe Law Offices
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: July 15, 2021

So you've been charged with crime. It stinks. There is nothing good about it. But here is the thing. It is probably pretty fixable. I'm not saying it isn't a big deal. But I am saying it can be fixed. I've seen thousands of people have the same problem and come out on the other side. But many people don't do the correct things once they've been charged. I refer everyone to the first rule of holes, which states: "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." The lesson? Don't make your situation worse. I've put together this list of what not to do, which ultimately will help you figure out what to do. Do not start talking to everyone you know about the fact that you've been charged with a crime. It doesn't help you to make the world aware you are facing a criminal charge. I understand that it is scary and overwhelming but this is not the kind of issue that you should be sharing to the world. And for the…Read More

William Ashe, Esq. explains felony classifications, and misdemeanor distinctions, in Maine's criminal law
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: April 15, 2021

Felonies are the most serious crimes in the criminal system. But what does that mean? Offenses are broken down into three groups: infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. Infractions are not classified as crimes at all. This is important to understand because with a civil infraction you do not have the right to an attorney or the right to a jury trial. It is also important to understand that civil infractions aren't considered criminal convictions. A civil infraction is something where jail is legally not possible. Before we get into crimes the first concept to understand is that there are two types of criminal law in the United States: state and federal. Each state has its own criminal laws. The federal government has its own criminal laws. I am explaining general topics but every state is different so when I discuss specific state issues, I am discussing the State of Maine, where I am licensed. Misdemeanors are crimes with a possible punishment of less than one year in jail. There are many different types of misdemeanors but…Read More

William Ashe Attorney discusses potential jail time for Operating Under the Influence charges in Maine
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: March 10, 2021

So you've been arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence. One of the most common questions that I see is "am I looking at jail time?" The answer isn't so simple, although it sort of it is. Operating Under the Influence is a crime in Maine, and pretty much everywhere else. All crimes are theoretically punishable by jail time. In Maine, we divide up crimes into five classes. Each class has its own sentencing range. OUI's typically fall into Class D, which means the sentence can be up to a year in prison and a $2000 fine. Under certain circumstances, OUI's can be felonies but that is much less common and most individuals in those situations are fully aware that jail time is a distinct possibility. Back to the question at hand. Are you looking at jail? In Maine, a first offense OUI with no aggravating factors typically is going to result in the State requesting a $500 fine and a 150 day loss of license. An important thing to understand is that even…Read More

William Ashe, Attorney on consequences of evading OUI arrest in Maine
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: February 1, 2021

This recent story of a Wiscasset suspect allegedly trying to avoid an OUI arrest illustrates the problem. The story reports that the suspect had already suffered a Maine OUI charge within the same week, for which he was out on bail. When an officer noticed the erratic path of the suspect's vehicle, the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which instead forced the officer's vehicle off the road in the suspect's attempt to flee. After Maine police apprehended the suspect to lodge him in the Two Bridges Regional Jail, the result was not only a second OUI charge but also charges for failing to stop for the officer, driving to endanger, and violation of bail terms for release. What might have been a relatively straightforward second OUI had in a moment's excitement just become a significantly larger problem. Enhanced OUI Charges In the heat of the moment, drivers may think they have cause to attempt to evade arrest. They may be intoxicated, as alleged in the above story, or they may have an outstanding arrest…Read More

Guidance on responding to false domestic violence accusations - Ashe Law Offices
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: December 8, 2020

Most states, including Maine, take allegations of domestic violence very seriously. In fact, many local police departments are required to make an arrest on any call in which they suspect domestic violence may have occurred. While strict domestic violence laws are intended to provide victims with immediate protection, they can also be abused. False accusations of domestic violence are quite common, and because the definitions of domestic violence extend beyond actions that leave physical evidence (e.g., threatening, stalking), it can be challenging for someone falsely accused to defend their innocence. That said, if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, how you respond can have a considerable impact on how well you can defend against these charges. Let's look at some ways to position yourself for the best possible outcome. Don't Be Confrontational For most of us, our reflex is to deny (sometimes vehemently) when we are falsely accused. However, if you come across as confrontational in any way, either to your partner or law enforcement, it can make a bad situation worse and…Read More

William Ashe attorney Guidelines and consequences for lost Maine Fish and Game licenses.
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: December 4, 2020

In Maine, you need to have your fish and game license active at all times while you're participating in these types of activities. In fact, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, mere "Possession of fishing tackle in the fields or forests or on the waters or ice of this State without a fishing license is prima facie evidence of fishing in violation of the law." Similar directives exist for hunting without a fully active game license. If you have lost your fish and game license and you hope to reinstate it as promptly as possible, you need to avoid fishing or hunting for as long as you don't have it. However, that isn't the only guideline that you should keep in mind. Maine Hunting And Fishing Violations That Won't Help Your Case The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Commissioner has the power to revoke license privileges of anyone who commits certain violations. It can be tempting to think that you don't have other privileges to lose since you've already…Read More

William Ashe Discusses racial bias in OUI cases, emphasizing legal protections against stops based on race.
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: November 17, 2020

When you face charges for an OUI as a person of color, you may suspect that your traffic stop and subsequent charges resulted from racial bias. Your arresting officer may have pulled you over simply because of your race - which is a violation of your rights. Maine law makes it clear that stops based on race are entirely illegal. If your legal team can build a case that racial profiling played a part in your traffic stop, you may be able to invalidate any evidence against you or even the arrest itself. See 25 MRSA §2803-B, sub-§1, ¶E Arrest Thrown Out In Racial Profiling OUI Case Recently, one Maine state trooper pulled over a black man driving north on Interstate 95. The man wondered if his subsequent charges were the result of racial profiling. He contacted an attorney, who launched an investigation. Recorded comments pulled from the microphone in the state trooper's car indicated that just prior to the racially-inspired traffic stop, the trooper had insinuated that the black man resembled a thug because…Read More

William Ashe Examines the impact of COVID-19 quarantines on domestic violence
  • By: William Ashe, Esq.
  • Published: October 29, 2020

Has Domestic Violence Increased Because Of Covid-related Quarantines? In 2020, the way that we work, rest and play has dramatically changed. Instead of spending large portions of time outside of our homes, many of us have decided to stay indoors. This has influenced the way that COVID-19 has spread. It also means that people are spending much more time with their families. For those who have unpleasant and possibly unsafe relationships with their housemates, time spent in quarantine could be very dangerous. Have there been more instances of domestic violence in 2020 because of this forced proximity? Let's check in on the research to learn what we need to know. Covid-19, Quarantine, And The Rise Of Domestic Violence In short: Yes. Domestic violence has increased in 2020 due to widespread quarantine. In what the New York Times has termed a ‘new COVID-19 crisis', movement restriction has given way to violence at home. The increased number of domestic violence cases in 2020 is alarming. In China, counts of domestic violence tripled during February 2020. The United…Read More

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