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Maine Criminal Records

Criminal records entail a history of contact with law enforcement agencies. These do not only mean convictions; some arrest reports may also be categorized as criminal records. Not every contact with law enforcement is deemed a criminal record. If the police issue a ticket because of speeding, it is a violation but will not be added to a person’s record unless they fail to pay. Rather violations, misdemeanors, and felonies that are recorded and then held at government offices are considered part of the criminal record. 

Considering the various types of criminal information that may be collected and stored on a person, if anything substantial is on file, they cannot get a police clearance. Involvement in investigations is also part of the criminal record. Even if no charges have been issued, a Maine police records search will demonstrate that the individual is part of an ongoing investigation. The same holds if one has been fingerprinted in relation to an offense in the state. It will produce a criminal record that will appear on police record searches. Maine also authorities public access to criminal records via the Freedom of Access Act. 

What Are the Types of Crimes in Maine?

According to Maine’s criminal justice system, the severity of an offense is evaluated by a code classification system. These codes stand for two main groups of crimes, which are felonies and misdemeanors. Each code also carries a minimum and maximum sentence per state law. The judge also can decide if they would prefer to include probation and community service. It is up to the magistrate or judge to consider the aggravating factors alongside the previous record when making the decision. Sometimes the victim’s family may also provide input which will be part of the final consideration.  

Classifications of Crimes 

The groupings range from A, which is the most serious, to E, in descending order. It would be necessary then to identify the classification of charges and the associated penalties. 

Class A

These offenses are grouped as the highest-level crimes in Maine. They include sexual assault, trafficking schedule A drugs and manslaughter. Class A crimes would be the same as felonies in other states, and the mandatory maximum on these is up to 30 years in prison or a fine of $50,000. The minimum sentence for offenses such as murder would be 25 years. According to Maine statutes, there is a caveat that if a weapon was involved in committing a crime, the charges would be a class higher than the previous one. If the offense was already grouped as class A, then the use of the weapon will be a factor in the final decision. 

Class B 

These are still significant offenses. Some include sexual assault, drug trafficking, and motor vehicle Driving While Intoxicated, provided it involves bodily injury. Class B offenses attract sentences of up to ten years or a fine of $10,000. 

Class C

Class C offenses are the lowest-ranked felonies in the state of Maine. They may include aggravated criminal mischief, Operating under the Influence with two priors, or theft. Habitual crimes also function as class C offenses. At the maximum, a class C conviction gets a charge of 5 years or a fine of $5000. 

Class D

Class D offenses are misdemeanors such as Operating under the Influence or domestic violence. They typically have a penalty of 364 days at the maximum or a fine of $2000. Should one plead guilty to the offense, a magistrate would sentence the offender to the maximum penalty, and there will not be a recourse. 

Class E 

Class E crimes are the lowest level offenses and carry a fine of $1000 or a sentence of 180 days maximum. These include offenses such as disorderly conduct, theft of under $1000, or a suspended license. These are also considered misdemeanors. 

How Does Probation Work in Maine?

Should the state impose a sentencing alternative per section 1502, which entails a probation period. The courts are mandated to attach probation as authorized, appropriate to assist the person to a law-abiding lifestyle. Per the conditions of parole, the courts in Maine require the individual to support their dependents and meet the person’s responsibilities. Should the courts order as a probation condition, the individual forfeits and pays restitution. The order will also constitute the imposition of restitution as a sentencing alternative and an order regarding restitution as unnecessary. 


The one under probation will also pursue and maintain employment or occupation. They are to refrain from frequenting specific areas or consorting with particular individuals. People on probation are not to possess or carry any firearms as well. They are to remain within the court's jurisdiction unless permissions to leave are granted in writing per the individual’s probation officer. Such individuals are to notify the officer of any change in address or their employment. 


One of the conditions of probation is it entails psychiatric treatment or counseling. Before imposing psychiatric outpatient or inpatient treatment, courts can request an agent of the Department of Health and Human Services give a report. The courts are also to notify the agent of the Department of Health when probation conditions are imposed on the person. That includes psychiatric outpatient or inpatient treatment. 


As a condition of probation, the person can pay a supervision fee of between $10 and $50 a month through the Department of Corrections. That is as determined by the court for the term probation. Should the court not set a fee, it will be a $10 minimum. Maine state courts also consider the person's financial position and what they can handle. When an individual on probation does not pay the allotted supervision fees, the r can revoke probation. The person’s only recourse is to show that the failure to pay is not because of a willful refusal. Maine courts then decide if the probation's revocation is warranted. 


There is also electronic monitoring and substance testing cost. On the request of Maine’s Department of Corrections, the court attaches a fee for electronic monitoring and substance testing costs per the term of the probation. The court will also consider the financial position of the person under probation. For that reason, an individual can be sentenced to prison without probation because they cannot afford the fee. 


Finally, the court indicates as a condition of probation that the person remains within the court's jurisdiction. That is unless they have been given permission to go outside it temporarily. An application fee for permission of $25. The department can also seek an additional $25 per month if permission is granted to leave the jurisdiction regularly. Permission to leave cannot be withdrawn only because the individual cannot pay the fee. However, once it has been ruled should a person fail to pay that fee, the department can withdraw the permission to leave the jurisdiction.

How Does Parole Work in Maine?

Maine is one of a few states that do not allow for parole, which is the release of a convicted individual before they complete their sentence. During the initial ban in 1976, there was a nationwide initiative for truth in sentencing. The goal was to come up with specific tie periods when sentencing offenders. Removing parole from the criminal justice system was considered one of the ways to increase public confidence and add some predictability. However, restorative justice advocates are now indicating that it is time for Maine to re-offer parole. In 2021, there was a bill for reestablishing parole in the state. A 13-member commission to study the process of restoration was instituted. It was also inspired by the debate that inmates in Maine do not have many opportunities for early release and rehabilitation. 

How Does Expungement Work in Maine?

Maine does not allow one to get their criminal record expunged. However, some legal mechanisms deem some criminal records confidential to the public. Typically the public should be able to access criminal records such as convictions, case depositions, and arrest warrants. According to Rev. Stat tit. 16 § 704, any individual, public or private entity can access criminal history information. 


In Maine, a criminal justice agency may also disclose criminal records provided it is anyone under contract to conduct background checks. Public entities such as U.S citizenship and immigration services may also allow access to criminal history information. Anyone asking an agency if an individual was summoned, detained, arrested, or charged on a specific date can also access the information. 


Barring the allowances by the state, there are still ways to seal the information so it is not public. If a convict were to get a pardon from the governor’s office, for example, the prior criminal history would not be viewable by all individuals. To be eligible for one of the pardons, an applicant must fill out the needed paperwork five years after the sentence has been completed. If the judge also sentenced the offender to a year of probation, then the person has first to finish it before the five-year wait time is counted. On submitting the documents to the Department of Corrections, they will decide if a hearing is necessary and publish a newspaper notice. The governor's office will also determine if they want to grant the pardon.


A criminal record can also be made confidential courtesy of a court order. To obtain one of the orders, one must have committed the crime between 18 and 21. A wait time of four years is required following the completion of the sentence, and the offender should not have any consequent criminal convictions or run-ins with the law. To get a court order, the crime should not be higher than a Class E misdemeanor, and it should not be a sex-related offense. If the ex-convict satisfies these conditions, they can file a motion so the appropriate court will schedule a hearing. They will then enter an order to keep the prior conviction confidential. 

How to Obtain a Criminal Record in Maine

Interested parties may access the Criminal History Record and Juvenile Crime Information Request Service information. The platform allows individuals to access the information via the State Bureau of Identification from the Maine State Police. It should provide conviction information for adult and juvenile crimes committed within Maine. Typically, juvenile records should not be available to all requesters in other states, but the state of Maine provides an exception for confidential record types. 


There is a difference, though, concerning the information provided for adults instead of juveniles. The Criminal History Record Information Act and the Maine Juvenile Code govern the spreading of criminal as well as juvenile records. The non-criminal justice entities then can access criminal history record information concerning convictions done by adjudications for offenses as done by juveniles.  


The majority of search results that have been processed via the site should be returned via email. The inquiry could need manual intervention if the results are not returned within twelve hours. Search requires as well; this intervention can be delayed for up to 12 weeks. It is also possible that a spam filter on the email prevents one from receiving the email with the link to the criminal history request. 


Maine state law allows one to access, review and challenge their criminal history information. The State Bureau of Identification also will enable individuals to follow the same processes. When a person does not agree with what is in their criminal record, it is possible to apply for an amendment via the State Bureau of Identification. That is to change the record, and it can be effected via mail or in person during business hours. That is to request an amendment or correction of the record. 


Upon receipt of the request, the Bureau of Identification will review it to determine if the information is accurate. Should the appropriate organization determine that the records need more information, the Bureau will correct it. It will then process a notification to the requestor of the findings and corrections that have been made within 15 business days of the request.


Counties in Maine

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Maine

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office36 County Way, Portland, ME
York County Sheriff's Office1 Layman Way, Alfred, ME
Penobscot County Sheriff's Office85 Hammond St, Bangor, ME
Kennebec County Sheriff's Office125 State St #1, Augusta, ME
Aroostook County Sheriff's Office25 School St # 216, Houlton, ME
Oxford County Sheriff's Office26 Western Ave, South Paris, ME
Hancock County Sheriff's Office50 State St, Ellsworth, ME
Somerset County Sheriff's Office131 E Madison Rd, Madison, ME
Knox County Sheriff's Office301 Park Street, Rockland, ME