Maine Court Records
Are Criminal Records Public In Maine?
Access to Maine criminal records is granted to members of the public by Maine Revised Statutes Title 16 Chapter 7, also known as the Maine Criminal History Record Information Act. Under this act, criminal records are grouped into two categories, namely:
- Public criminal history record information, which is readily accessible by any member of the public for any purpose
- Confidential criminal history record information, which is typically restricted to criminal justice agencies and parties that can demonstrate a direct interest in the record
The Maine State Bureau of Identification is the state’s central repository for criminal records and is responsible for collecting, maintaining, and releasing criminal history information to interested parties.
What Is Included In A Criminal Record In Maine?
Criminal records generated in the state of Maine typically contain the following information:
- The subject’s name
- The subject’s identification numbers, including the subject’s social security number, driver’s license number, state ID number, FBI number, DOC number, and other miscellaneous numbers
- The subject’s sex, date of birth, race, skin tone, height, weight, hair, and eye color and fingerprint patterns
- The subject’s photo, fingerprint, and palm-print images
- The subject’s DNA data
- A description of the subject’s scars, marks, and tattoos, if any
- The subject’s blood type and known medical conditions
- The subject’s place of birth, citizenship, ethnicity, and religion
- The subject’s marital status, employment status, and residence
- The subject’s arrest dates, arresting agencies, and arrest charges
- The subject’s court case number, court agency, court charges, and sentences imposed
- An index of agencies listed in the record
How To Look Up My Criminal Records In Maine?
The Maine State Bureau of Identification provides criminal history record information to interested parties, according to the purpose for which the records are requested. Complete records, which contain either conviction and non-conviction information for adult offenders or adjudication and non-adjudication information for juvenile offenders, are issued for criminal justice purposes. Complete criminal records are typically only released to criminal justice agencies.
Requests for criminal history record information made by parties that are not criminal justice agencies are considered non-criminal justice requests. Also, copies of these records issued by the Maine State Bureau of Identification contain only information on adult convictions and juvenile adjudications.
Members of the public can access copies of criminal records for non-criminal justice purposes online through the State Bureau of Identification’s crime-information request service website. Requests for name-based or fingerprint-based checks can also be made by contacting the Maine State Bureau of Identification at:
45 Commerce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: (207) 624–7240
Hours: 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Parties that wish to perform fingerprint-based checks will be required to submit a fingerprint card directly to the bureau. These cards can also be submitted via mail to:
State Bureau of Identification
State House Station #42
Requestors are advised to contact the State Bureau of Identification before mailing fingerprint cards.
Name-based and fingerprint-based criminal history record checks cost a non-refundable fee of $31 per check.
How Can I Get My Criminal Records For Free In Maine?
The Maine State Bureau of Identification does not provide members of the public with free access to criminal history record information.
How To Search Criminal Records Online In Maine?
The Maine State Bureau of Identification provides members of the public and criminal justice agencies with online access to criminal history record information through its Maine Criminal History Record and Juvenile Crime Information Request Service website. Through this website, interested parties can perform searches for information on adult convictions and juvenile adjudications for crimes committed in the state of Maine. Information on pending cases that are less than one year old can also be obtained from this website.
When performing searches, requestors will be required to provide the full name and date of birth of the subject of the record search. These searches are name-based, so it is advised that the information provided is accurate and correctly spelled. Online criminal history record checks cost a non-refundable fee of $21 for Maine residents that subscribe to the service and $31 for non-subscribers and out of state subscribers. There is also an additional $10 for parties that wish to have these records notarized.
It is important to note that record checks requested via this service are only accessible for 30 days. After this time, the record is no longer considered valid, and the requestor will have to submit a new request.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state where the person resides or was accused.
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Get Criminal Records Expunged In Maine?
The state of Maine does not expunge criminal records. However, the criminal history record information of an individual may be sealed if that individual receives an executive pardon from the State Governor.
How To Get Criminal Records Sealed In Maine?
The criminal history record information of an individual convicted of crimes in the state of Maine may be sealed if the State Governor grants executive clemency. When an individual receives a full pardon from the State Governor, information concerning the crime for which the individual was pardoned is considered confidential, and access to these records is restricted under the Maine Criminal History Record Information Act.
Individuals may request for a full pardon of their crimes from the State Governor under the following conditions:
- At least five years have elapsed since the completion of the entire sentence imposed for the crime in question. This includes any probation periods associated with the sentence.
- The individual was not convicted for a crime that involves Operating Under The Influence of Intoxicating Liquor.
- The individual is not requesting a pardon for the sole purpose of being legally able to bear a firearm for hunting or any other purposes.
- The individual is not a registered sex offender and is not requesting a pardon for the sole purpose of being delisted from the state’s sex offender registry.
- The individual is not requesting the pardon as a means of rectifying alleged errors in the state’s judicial system.
- The individual does not have other serious criminal convictions that are not included in their application for a pardon.
- The individual is not requesting a pardon for the purpose of being granted entry into Canada. (Parties with criminal convictions that wish to gain entry into Canada are advised to contact the Consulate General of Canada).
However, in exceptional cases, some of the conditions listed above may be waived by the Maine Governor’s Board on Executive Clemency.
Individuals that wish to request for executive clemency from the State Governor may do so by taking the following steps:
- Complete a Petition for Executive Clemency form and identify each conviction for which a pardon is being requested. When completing this form, individuals will be required to include a certified copy of the charging instrument, judgment, and commitment form, and docket sheet for each conviction listed. These documents are available at the Clerk’s Office at the Maine court where the conviction occurred. Parties that are unable to obtain copies of these records will be required to obtain a certified note from the Clerk of Courts stating that required records are unavailable. This note should also contain a reason why the records are unavailable.
- Notarize the completed Petition for Executive Clemency form, and send the form, along with all the required documents, to the Maine Department of Corrections at:
Division of Adult Community Corrections
State House Station 111
Augusta, ME 0433
Phone: (207) 287–4340
(It is advised that copies of these documents are made before they are sent).
Once the Department of Corrections receives an individual’s completed petition and all other necessary documents, requests are sent to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles for the full driving records of the individual and to the State Bureau of Identification for a preliminary background check on the individual. After the background check is completed, the petition is then reviewed by the Governor’s Board on Executive Clemency. This board has the power to grant or deny every request for an executive clemency hearing in the state of Maine. Individuals that petition the board for a pardon will be notified of the board’s decision in writing after the review.
Parties that are granted a hearing will be asked to appear before the Governor’s Board on Executive Clemency at its next scheduled meeting. Before the hearing, the Maine Department of Corrections’ Division of Probation and Parole will conduct a more in-depth background investigation on the individual that requested the pardon. This includes a personal interview of the individual as well as additional interviews of the individual’s family friends, co-workers, neighbors, and any other community members that the Division of Probation and Parole deems fit to interview regarding the request for a pardon. All findings from this second background check are also submitted to the Governor’s Board on Executive Clemency.
Individuals that request a pardon are also required to publish a Legal Notice announcing their scheduled clemency hearing in a newspaper that has a substantial readership in the county where the individual’s case was prosecuted. The Department of Corrections will provide a list of appropriate newspapers, as well as the specific requirements of this legal notice. This notice should be published once a week for four consecutive weeks before their scheduled hearing. A copy of the published legal notice must also be submitted to the Department of Corrections before the hearing.
At the clemency hearing, the petitioner will answer questions regarding the request and the circumstances surrounding the crime for which the request was made. These individuals may also be allowed to have other parties speak on their behalf. It should be noted that these hearings are public.
After the hearing, the board discusses the petition. It makes recommendations to the State Governor, who has the sole right to grant or deny executive clemency to an individual, as stipulated by Maine Constitution Article V, Part First Section 11. Recommendations made by the board are reviewed by the Governor, who may choose to accept, reject, or modify them.
Once a final decision has been made, the individual that requested the pardon will receive a notification in writing. The Governor’s decision is considered final, and requestors do not have the right to appeal or ask for a reconsideration of the decision. However, parties that have their petitions denied may reapply for clemency after at least one year has passed.
Before requesting a pardon in the state of Maine, it is advisable to get proper legal advice. Queries concerning the pardon process can also be directed to the Department of Corrections’ Division of Adult Community Services at (207) 287–4340.
Who Can See My Expunged/sealed Criminal Record In Maine?
Criminal history record information of individuals granted full executive pardons in the state of Maine are considered confidential, and access to these records is typically restricted to authorized parties. These parties include:
- Criminal justice agencies that require the records for the administration of their official duties
- Parties that make a specific inquiry to a criminal justice agency concerning the individual named on the record and whether that individual was summoned, arrested, detained, or formally charged on a specific date
- Parties that have an express right to the record, as provided by statutory law, court orders, court rules, or court decisions