Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Public Records
What Are Maine Criminal Records?
Maine criminal records, also called rap sheets, are documents that contain information regarding a person’s interaction with the criminal justice system in Maine. Generally, a person enters the Maine criminal justice system following an arrest or indictment for an alleged crime. Until the court clears or convicts the individual, the system will continue to collect information from the parties involved in the criminal case. These include the subject, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, and correctional departments. The Maine Bureau of Identification (SBI) acts as custodian for police records and other information gathered throughout the person’s interaction with the criminal justice system. The information in a Maine criminal record varies with the subject. Nevertheless, requesters can expect to see a criminal record containing the following information:
- Full name and aliases of the offender
- Criminal charges
- Physical description
- Body markings such as tattoos and piercings
- Information on previous arrests
- The offenses committed or allegedly committed
- Pending and acquitted charges
Are Criminal Records Public In Maine?
Yes. Maine criminal records are public information under the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Interested persons may obtain public criminal records from the SBI for a fee. Generally, the Bureau encourages intending requesters to perform a criminal records search on the official online database. However, information from this database is limited to information on adult criminal convictions and juvenile felonies. This information suffices for most public requesters. Nevertheless, a requester who seeks a detailed criminal record may look up the criminal records in person or send snail mail.
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How To Obtain Criminal Records In Maine?
There are three ways to obtain Maine criminal records. Most requesters go with the online option because it is faster and relatively inexpensive. To perform a Maine criminal record search online, visit the official online database. There, the requester must provide the subject’s full name and date of birth to conduct a search. Each name-based search costs $31.00 payable via credit card. A typical online search on the database takes two hours to process.
Persons who have trouble doing an online search may get Maine criminal records by preparing a written request and submitting it to the SBI in person or via mail. The written request must contain the subject’s full name and date of birth. Besides these, a requester may also include additional information that will help the Bureau identify and retrieve the criminal record of interest. If sending a mail request, attach payment in the form of a check or money order. Then, enclose the request in a self-addressed stamped envelope before sending it via the US Postal Service.
State Bureau of Investigation
State House Station #42
45 Commerce Drive, Suite 1
Augusta, ME 04333-0042
Phone: (207) 624-7240
On average, mail requests typically take 3 - 5 weeks to process if the application packet is complete and correct. Incomplete or incorrect applications may take longer. A general rule of thumb is to call or email the SBI regarding any doubt or inquiry before mailing the request.
Meanwhile, interested persons can look up criminal records for free. There are two ways to accomplish this: obtain a fee waiver from the record custodian or use third-party databases for free public criminal record checks. However, the downside of checking such databases is that the completeness and accuracy of criminal records are not guaranteed.
What Are Maine Arrest Records?
Criminal records only make up a small piece of the picture. A Maine arrest record is one of several police records created by law enforcement agencies on persons taken into custody. A person is usually arrested when law enforcement agents have reasons to believe that they are involved in a crime committed or ongoing. A person may also be arrested if law enforcement officers are convinced based on facts and other circumstances that the arrestee intended, agreed, or planned to commit the crime alone or with other persons.
Public arrest records would usually contain personal information about the person arrested, fingerprint, mugshot, charges against the arrested person, arrest date and time, booking number, and so on. Usually, an arrest activates the criminal justice system but a person may also be arrested for violation of a law of conditions and terms of their release on parole or probation.
Are Maine Arrest Records Public?
Yes. Like criminal records, Maine arrest records are also public documents. Interested persons may obtain public arrest records from the arresting agency or the agency that has custody of the person of interest. If the arresting agency is a local law enforcement agency, then public requests go to such an agency. Likewise, if a state or federal agency made the arrest, interested requesters must first direct requests for arrest records to such agency.
Note that the public availability of arrest records is subject to the nature of the arrest. Indeed, arrest records are presumed open to the public under the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Still, the statute restricts public access to arrest records if releasing the record to the public will jeopardize active criminal justice proceedings and investigations. In such cases, the requester must wait until the arrest record becomes public.
Furthermore, when the arrest record becomes public, the requester must pay a small fee, which covers the cost of copying the documents. While it is possible, free arrest records are typically difficult to get. To get these records, the requester must request a fee waiver from the record custodian or check online databases that publish arrest information. The downside of using these free databases, however, is that there is no guarantee that the records obtained are accurate or complete.
What Is An Arrest Warrant In Maine?
A Maine arrest warrant is an official document signed and issued by a judge or magistrate in response to the sworn statement by law enforcement agents that they have credible evidence and reasons to believe that a person is involved in criminal activity and it is in the interest of public safety that they are taken into custody. A valid arrest warrant must contain
- Description of the arrestee
- Name if possible but not always necessary provided there is a detailed description of the person
- The facts that link the person to the arrest and show probable cause for arrest
An arrest warrant is usually issued prior to an arrest and is the formal document giving the arrest its legality but an arrest warrant is not always necessary under Maine Law. Maine does not have a central database for active warrants in the state. Thus, individuals who wish to view a warrant may perform a warrant search on the arresting agency’s website or visit the agency in person, especially for an active warrant search.
What Are Maine Inmate Records?
Maine inmate records are official documents with information on persons who are held in custody or incarcerated in any facility under the administration of the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC), County jails, and correctional centers. An inmate or prisoner is someone who has been declared guilty by a judge or jury, pleaded guilty or no contest to an offense, and has been sentenced by the court to a term of incarceration, suspending or stripping them of their constitutional right to liberty. Inmate records are available to the public on the MDOC official prisoner/probationer search website. The information available through a Maine inmate search include:
- Inmate’s Personal Information
- Date of incarceration
- Release date
- Offense committed
- Photo (if available)
What Is The Maine Sex Offender Registry?
The Maine sex offender registry is a public database of information complied about sex offenders in Maine. Maine Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act makes it mandatory for persons convicted of sex crimes to register as sex offenders for a specified period. The period of registration ranges from 10 years to a lifetime, depending on the circumstances surrounding the sex crime (34-A. M.R.A. § 11225-A).
The Maine SBI maintains the sex offender registry. Interested residents of Maine can perform a sex offender search to view current and updated information on registered sex offenders online. Generally, the information regarding an offender depends on the period of registration. Nevertheless, public requesters can see the following information regarding any sex offender of interest:
- Physical description
- Date of birth
- Place of employment
- Name of sex crime convicted and the law violated
- Date of conviction
- School registrant attends
- Location, city of residence
- Photograph if available
- Registrant’s home address and mailing address
- Location on the sex offender map
- Photograph if available,
- Designation (Tier 1 offender is required to register for 10 years, Tier II, 25 years, Tier III, life)
- Docket number
- Sentence imposed
What is an OUI In Maine?
An OUI in Maine (or Operating Under the Influence) is a serious traffic violation that involves driving a vehicle or being in physical control of a vehicle while impaired. Per Maine OUI laws, an impaired driver is one whose physical or mental status has been altered by alcohol or a controlled substance. Generally, law enforcement officers use field sobriety tests or chemical tests to establish drunk driving. The chemical test, which measures blood alcohol content (BAC), is the gold standard for establishing intoxication in suspected drivers.
The consequences of a first-time OUI depend on the aggravating factors, such as having a minor in the car or refusing to take a chemical test. Generally, the court shall suspend the driver’s license for a minimum of 150 days. The guilty drivers shall also pay at least $500 in fines, and serve at least 48 hours in jail. In felony OUI, the license suspension period is lengthier, the jail time is longer, and the fines are steeper. A driver may choose to fight the OUI charges solo, but this decision is ill-advised given that an OUI conviction is permanent on a person’s driving record. Thus, most indicted drivers consult or hire OUI lawyers in Maine to get the best defense available under the circumstances.
What Is A Misdemeanor In Maine?
A misdemeanor is a crime with lesser punishment than a felony. Misdemeanors are defined in comparison to felonies because the negative impact of a misdemeanor on public safety and property is usually less devastating compared to the catastrophic or persistent effect of a felony on the offender, victim, and society. The Penalty for a misdemeanor conviction is also less severe, usually a brief period of confinement, a fine, forfeiture, or legal supervision.
Although a misdemeanor is not outrightly mentioned under Maine law, criminal acts categorized as Class D and E offenses are considered misdemeanors because persons convicted for Class D. offenses in Maine can only be confined, for a maximum of 364 days and are liable to pay a maximum of $2000. Class E offenses are punishable by up to 6 months confinement and a $1,000 fine.
What Is A Felony In Maine?
A felony offense is an offense that falls within the A, B, or C classes of offenses under the Maine Criminal Code. Except for murder, offenses are classified in order of their severity, A, B, C, D, E. Class A, B, and C are serious offenses, that could range from manslaughter, aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, Driving Under the Influence which results in bodily harm or injury to conviction as a habitual offender, such as persons with two prior convictions.
In Maine, felonies are crimes punishable by state prison terms. Under Maine’s laws, all crimes (except for murder) are classified as Class A, B, or C crimes (felonies). Murder in Maine is punishable by 25 years to life imprisonment. The maximum penalty for each class of felonies include
- 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000 for Class A offenses
- Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. For Class B offenses
- Incarceration term of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000 for Class C offenses.
What Is Maine Parole Information?
Parole records contain information on the early release of an inmate from incarceration into the community under the supervision of designated parole officers, until the conditions and terms of their parole or sentence are completely satisfied. Parole was eliminated from criminal sentencing in Maine since 1976 but an inmate with ‘‘good time credit’’ may qualify for a reduction in jail time for following all the rules and regulations of the MDOC and institution they are housed, ‘‘good time credit’’
What Are Maine Probation Records?
Probation records contain information on persons ordered by the court to serve a specified period of time within the community and under the supervision of the MDOC, Adult Community Corrections. Probation is imposed by the court as an alternative to confinement on persons who are eligible under Maine law and persons ‘in need of the supervision, guidance assistance or direction probation can provide’’
Probationers are required to abide by strict rules and regulations as to the conditions of their probation stipulated by the court. Stricter restrictions and conditions may be imposed, on persons convicted of certain offenses such as sex offenders and drug-related offenders. Probationers may also be required to pay fines, court costs, provide public service, pay restitution as part of the terms of their probation. Violation of any conditions of probation may activate the underlying sentence or result in the revocation of probation.
What Are Maine Juvenile Criminal Records?
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about persons below the age of 18 who have been adjudicated for a crime by the juvenile court for a ClaSS A, B, C, D, or E offense or murder. A person adjudicated for a crime is not convicted of that crime and the Maine Juvenile court system empowers Juvenile Community Correction Officers (JCCO) to take charge of the rehabilitation of the child offender and focus on their rehabilitation rather than punishment.
There are two types of juvenile criminal records in Maine, confidential and public. A minor who is adjudicated for murder or Class A, B, C offenses will appear in public juvenile court, which generates publicly accessible records. Juvenile records of a class D or E repeat offender may also be available to the public unless the records are sealed by a judge. Even then, the records remain open to the offender, law enforcement agencies, and the District Attorneys.
Confidential juvenile criminal records include records of juveniles who are adjudicated by a juvenile Court for a Class E offense or a first-time Class D offense, provided the minor had no prior adjudications for a Class D or higher Classes of offense.
What Are Maine Conviction Records?
A conviction record is created when a person pleads guilty, is found guilty, or pleads nolo contendere to a criminal charge and the court issues a sentence or makes an order regarding how the person is punished for that offense. The conviction record provides information showing that an offender has, in fact, violated the law and is held accountable subject to the law, criminal justice procedure, and system as determined by the court, by a jury, or a judge.