Maine Criminal Records
What is a Criminal Record in Maine?
Criminal records contain information relating to a person’s journey through the Maine criminal justice system in connection with a crime for which they are alleged to have committed. Information contained in these records emanates first from law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts and correctional departments. Records may also originate from facilities maintained by the Bureau of Identification. Information contained in a criminal record may include:
- Full name and aliases of the offender
- Criminal charges
- Physical description
- Body markings such as tattoos and piercings
- Information on previous arrests
- Offense committed or allegedly committed
- Pending and acquitted charges
What is an Arrest Record?
An arrest record is a document maintained by law enforcement agencies, containing information on persons who have been 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.
Records of arrest 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.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An 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 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
- Fact that links the person to the arrest and sows probable cause
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.
What is a misdemeanor?
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 to 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’s 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 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?
A felony offense is an offense that falls within the A, B or C classes of offenses under Maine 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 Sex Offender Listing?
A sex offender listing is a database of information collected from persons who are required under Maine Law to register as sex offenders as one of the consequences of being convicted of a registrable sex offense. A sex offender in Maine may be required to register for a period of 10 years or for a lifetime, depending on the sexually motivated crime they were convicted and sentenced for.
The Maine State Bureau of Identification maintains the sex offender registry and permits public access to view current and updated information on registered offenders online. The information on an offender available to the public may be limited if the registrant was convicted and registered under the 1999 registration Act. Additional information such as the Registrant’s sex offender tier, map location of their address, aliases and last date of verification may not be included in the initial search unlike registrants convicted and governed by the registration Act of 2013. An interested person may conduct an extended search to obtain more information on the registrant. Information accessible on a sex offender may include
- Physical description
- Date of birth
- Place of employment
- Name of crime convicted for and the law violated
- Date of conviction
- School registrant attends
- Location, city of residence
- Photograph if available
- Registrant’s home address, location on map and mailing address
- Photograph if one is 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 Serious Traffic Violation in Maine?
A serious traffic violation is a serious form of breaching the law while operating a vehicle, which translates to committing an offense. Traffic violation in Maine is generally minor and does not result in criminal charges or convictions, rather, sanctions such as payment of fines. However, serious traffic violations may result in harsher punishments such as suspension revocation of license and even jail time in some cases. For example, causing serious bodily injury to another person while knowingly operating a vehicle with a revoked or suspended license is a class C offense punishable with up to 5 years in prison and $5000 in fine.
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.
What are Maine Jail and Inmate Records?
Jail and 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/probational search website. The information available on inmate records search may include the
- Date of incarceration
- Release date
- Offense committed
- Photo (if available)
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 is 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 proceedings which generate a publicly accessible record. 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.