Maine Arrest Records Online | (2024)

Are Arrest Records Public in Maine?

Yes, arrest records in the state of Maine are accessible to members of the public. However, the availability of records for public consumption is subject to the nature of the arrest. The state Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) provides conditions for limiting access to arrest records.

These include:

  • The possibility of distorting or influencing criminal proceedings and investigations upon release of related records for public access
  • Records that have been designated confidential by statutes
  • Arrest records of minors or juvenile

Individuals may obtain arrest records through the courts or law enforcement agencies. For the courts, individuals will have to obtain and fill out the court records request form. To access via the enforcement agency, the requester will have to visit the agency holding the arrestee. This agency may be a local or state agency. Similarly, requesters can write or visit the official repository for criminal history record information in Maine (SBI) for access to the record. Alternatively, they can access it online for a fee.

What is Considered an Arrest Record in Maine?

An arrest record is a summary report belonging to an individual accused of violating a criminal law. Usually, law enforcement officers apprehend an individual when they have a conviction that the person is involved in a crime. However, they may also initiate an arrest based on facts and other circ*mstances or with other persons.

When creating the arrest report, the officer collates some information from the suspect. This information includes personal information, fingerprint, mugshot, charges, arrest date and time, booking number, place of arrest, and other relevant details. Once the officer creates the record, a file is created in the criminal justice system, particularly for a new offender. For existing offenders, SBI updates their records automatically.

What Shows Up on an Arrest Record in Maine?

A typical record contains details that help identify an individual suspected of being involved in criminal activity. An arrest record gives the following information:

  • Physical description of the accused: This includes height, weight, gender and race (white, black or African, Hispanic), and any other features that distinguish the arrestee like scratches, discolorations, and tattoos
  • Basic identification details: Name, aliases, age, contact details, occupation (if available), residence, birth year, and other relevant information about the arrestee
  • Date, place, and time of the arrest
  • Mugshots
  • Fingerprints
  • Charges filed by the officer - Legal description of the offense for which the individual has been apprehended
  • Geographic location where the crime occurred
  • The circ*mstances of the arrest (when applicable): Including the use of physical force, resistance made by the accused, weapons involved, the arrestee's refusal to submit, and the pursuit by the arresting officers.
  • Previous criminal charges, such as complaints, indictments, and convictions,
  • Court orders including active warrants, summons, bench warrants, etc.
  • Arrests made without warrants.
  • Release or discharge from involuntary commitment.
  • Name and location of the correctional facility housing the arrestee before the court appearance.

Who Can Access Arrest Records in Maine?

The Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) guarantees all citizens and non-citizens access to arrest records categorized under public records. However, arrest records classified as confidential as stipulated in the Freedom of Access Statutory Exceptions cannot be accessed by just anyone. Only law enforcement and judicial officials can access information under statutory exemptions. However, these agents and other organizations authorized by the state law or the court may be permitted to access arrest records classified as confidential.

While law enforcement agencies have round-the-clock access to the arrest records repository, commercial organizations and civilians interested in accessing the information on arrest warrants will have to follow a prescribed procedure to avail said arrest records. The FOAA stipulates that an agency (local agency and the SBI) must provide requesters with a response within five days of submitting their request.

Maine Arrest Statistics

Maine is one of the states with the lowest arrest and crime rates in the United States. Like other states, the state government of Maine delegates an organization to collate, store, and disseminate arrest records. In Maine, this organization is the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) in the Department of Public Safety. SBI uses the Records Management Section (RMS) to oversee the reception, entry, and storage of all investigative and incident reports, which law enforcement officials under the State Police, both Field Troops and Criminal Divisions, supply over time.

In 2020, there were 32,193 arrests (0.54% of the US arrests recorded in the same year) reported by 129 law enforcement agencies in the State of Maine. Of the total number of arrests, 23,033 were males while 9,160 were females. The state also recorded 1686 arrests of persons under 18. This number accounts for about 5.3% of the total arrests made in the year.

Statistical reports provide breakdowns of various classifications of offenses. This report includes Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter), Rape, robbery, assault (Aggravated and simple assault), Burglary, Arson, theft (Larceny and motor vehicle theft), fraud, vandalism, weapon possession, prostitution, forgery and counterfeiting, driving under the influence, drug abuse violations, gambling, liquor laws amongst others.

  • The leading cause of arrest in 2020 was simple assault (all assaults and attempted assaults, considered to be without any record of injury by the police), with a total count of 4,431. This DUI (Driving Under Influence) offense follows with a count of 4,095 and larceny (theft) at 3366.
  • The offenses with the lowest offenses were gambling (1 count), human trafficking (1 count), and manslaughter by negligence (3 counts).
  • Male and females between ages 30 and 34 accounted for the group with the most arrests recorded - a total of 1,724 females and 3,866 males.

The information has been obtained from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR). The UCR is the national criminal justice data collection program managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Through the RMS, the Maine State Police ensures that all state arrest and crime statistics are forwarded every month to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for inclusion in the annual US crime report.

Maine Public Arrest Records Search

A Maine arrest search enables interested and eligible requesters to access public records through custodian agencies. The process typically requires the requesting party to provide information regarding the arrest and the incarcerated individual. Ultimately, an arrest search will provide the inquirer details of the basis of the arrest and the arrestee’s location. These records may also appear during background checks done by employers or other organizations.

In Maine, the State Bureau of Investigation, a division of the State Police, oversees the collation, storage, and dissemination of arrest and criminal records. The state arrest records are classified into two main categories; public and confidential. According to state statutes, criminal information identified as public records is accessible to the public. This record typically includes conviction-only details and information on cases within the state judicial system. Meanwhile, confidential records are information on cases wherein the offender was tried as a juvenile or where the accused was dismissed or acquitted. They may also include records that fall under the statutory exemptions of the state laws.

How Do I Lookup Someone's Arrest Records in Maine?

A requester has three options when looking up arrest records in Maine. These options are; mail request, physical visit to the agency request, and online search. Given that the law enforcement agents are in charge of apprehending suspected offenders, the requester can write to the agency or stop by the police department to look up the records. Usually, the requester has some basic information about the offender to aid in record tracking. Information such as name, aliases (if any), and date of birth. However, records shared at this level are local and may not provide detailed results.

The official access portal for all criminal history record information is the Maine State Bureau of Identification. Through this bureau, individuals can look up arrest records in two ways:

Name-based inquiries: Requester supplies the name, aliases, and birth date of the subject in return for a list of possible matches. From the result, the requester can identify which information closely describes the subject of the request.

Fingerprint inquiries: The requester or applicant submitted a complete set of fingerprints with the SBI. The bureau analyzes the fingerprints alongside the state Automated Fingerprint Identification System records. Only the subject of the record can initiate a fingerprint inquiry. Usually, for requests sent via mail, SBI sends a mail response for this kind of search also to the requester between 10 to 15 days.

Though a requester may submit their request via mail or in-person at the SBI, the agency also provides an online search platform, inforMe, where individuals can conduct their searches at $31 per search for non-subscribers and $21 per search for subscribers. Search results from this platform are usually on records of convicted individuals. The SBI sends an email response within two hours of initiating the request.

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in Maine

Though the Maine Statutes and Freedom of Access Act authorize public access to arrest records, an individual may not access certain documents. The reason is that some of the records may be exempted or sealed from general viewership.

To access records, an individual may fill out a subpoena. A subpoena is an order from the court which authorizes an individual to request access to specific documents from a law enforcement agency or the state police.

How to Search for an Inmate in the Maine Prison System

An inmate search provides information on persons confined in the state of Maine. Though there are different ways to obtain information on inmates, the official platform for accessing information is the Department of Corrections. The DOC collates and stores detailed information about inmates anywhere within Maine.

It also has an online inmate search tool on its website individuals carry out searches for information about persons (adults only) imprisoned in the state. The search tool provides information on adult residents and offenders on probation confined to county, state, and federal owned facilities. To use the tool, one must have the name and relevant information such as MDOC number, gender, age-range, eye color, hair color, weight range, ethnicity, body marks/tattoos, and type of offense.

The results will show the following details in return:

  • Personal information (first/last name, birth date, gender)
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Registration number/Case number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status
  • Expected release date

Accessible 24 hours daily, the MDOC Adult Prisoner/Probationer Search Service is a free and reliable tool for an inmate search. However, the search tool does not provide information on juveniles.

Similarly, the requester may write or visit the DOC to find out about an inmate in the state or local correctional facilities.

How Do I Find Out if Someone Was in Jail in Maine?

The Department of Corrections does not keep records of inmates released from correctional facilities across the state. Once a prisoner serves their sentence, the DOC removes their records from the online adult prisoner search tool.

However, criminal and arrest records are public records, thanks to state laws. Hence, any person can access such state records to know if the person has ever been in prison in the past. Using basic details of the subject such as name, date of birth, city, or state of residence, one may write to or visit the state repository for all criminal history record information, the State Bureau of Information, to look up criminal history records. Preferably, the requester can decide to search online via the online public criminal history record search. When the requester inputs the name and date of birth in the search tool, it returns possible matches from which the requester may select their result. This service comes at a fee, with each name-based search costing $31 for non-subscribers and $21 for subscribers.

How to Find Recent Arrests in Maine

In Maine, state and county law enforcement agencies list their recent arrests on an arrest log which is updated daily or on an hourly basis. Hence, to find a recent arrest in Maine, inquirers may first determine the agency responsible for the arrest and locate their arrest log on their designated website. These arrest logs or roasters can be searched by the arrestee's name or filtered by the date and/or jurisdiction of the arrest.

How Long Do Maine Arrest Records Stay on File?

Maine arrest records have no time limitations or restrictions; thus, the information remains on the file forever. The state maintains the criminal history information throughout the lifetime of the offender. However, state laws permit an individual to seal their criminal records.

To do this, the individual has to file a petition in court. Once the court issues an order to seal the records, such records become inaccessible to the public. Unless the court issues an order to seal documents, the public will always access the arrest records.

What is the Difference Between a Maine Arrest Record and an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document signed and issued by the judge authorizing an officer to apprehend a person suspected to be involved in some criminal activity. The judge approves the warrant as a form of response to a sworn statement by the law enforcement agency that the subject of the warrant is involved in criminal activity. Only courts authorized to cover the area where the offense occurred and with the authority to pass verdicts in criminal cases can order arrest warrants. It is also known as an affidavit warrant in the state of Maine.

A valid arrest warrant provides the information on the following:

  • A description of the accused
  • A probable cause for the arrest
  • Description of the charge against the subject of the warrant

Though an arrest warrant serves as the legal backing for apprehending an individual and is usually issued before the officer arrests the suspect, Maine Statutes permits law enforcement officials to arrest any person violating the law and detain the person without presenting a warrant.

Title 17 of the Maine Criminal Code provides circ*mstances in which an officer of the law may arrest an individual without a warrant.

In the code, it states that a law enforcement agent can proceed to arrest persons believed to have committed offenses such as:

  • Murder, manslaughter, rape, and aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs.
  • Criminal offenses are known as Driving Under the Influence and Operating Under the Influence
  • Assault, terrorizing, or stalking, especially where the suspect may likely cause injury on the victim
  • Domestic violence assault
  • Theft - where the suspect(s) might likely abscond unless apprehended immediately
  • Forgery - where the suspect(s) might likely abscond unless arrested immediately

Meanwhile, arrest records are generated by the law enforcement agents after the individual has been apprehended and detained. The arrest record provides details about the suspect and the arrest's circ*mstances. It plays a significant role in the trial proceeding.

In Maine, both arrest records and warrants are classified as public records and are accessible to the public. Warrants like arrest records are also available in paper and electronic forms. Law enforcement officers use arrest records and related criminal information daily to fast track the execution of arrest warrants and arrest individuals involved in crime.

Are Arrest Reports Public in Maine?

Maine arrest reports are official documents produced by law enforcement agencies that describe the sequence of events, witness statements, and evidence that resulted in an individual's apprehension. On the other hand, arrest records are more simplified documents that are a log of a person's prior arrests.

What is the Difference Between a Maine Arrest Record and a Criminal Record?

A criminal record is a document that provides details of one's dealings with the judicial system in place, state, or country. An arrest record forms part of a criminal record. Usually, it serves as the baseline of the crime file in the judicial system. A criminal record comprises the individual, police arrest reports and incident reports, court records, previous arrests and convictions, and pending and acquitted charges.

In Maine, criminal records are called rap sheets. Just like the arrest records, the criminal records are accessible to the public and are accessible via the State Bureau of Information. Criminal records give details of the offense for which an individual is being prosecuted or convicted.

Though crimes are of two main types - felonies and misdemeanors, Maine no longer uses these categories. Criminal offenses are classified as follows:

Class E crimes: Attracts six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine
Class D crimes: Attracts a year jail term and a $2,000 fine
Class C crimes: Punishable by five years jail terms and a $5,000 fine
Class B crimes: Attracts ten years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine
Class A crimes: Attracts thirty years of incarceration and a $50,000 fine (usually Murder, manslaughter, and other related charges).

While arrest record documents provide details of a specific arrest, a criminal record is a more comprehensive document that covers the entire criminal background of the subject.

How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in Maine

State-owned online platforms for requesting records provide their services at a fee. Hence, obtaining an arrest record for free at the state level may not be feasible. Nonetheless, individuals may search for arrest records for free. To do so, they must request a fee waiver from the officer in charge of the records at the county level. They can also search through third-party databases that provide free access to arrest and criminal records. Given that the third-party sites are not the official platforms, there is no assurance that the information they provide is accurate or complete.

How to Search for a Maine Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service

Just like the official search platforms, third-party sites for accessing arrest records exist online. To access these sites, the requester may have to register or subscribe first. With basic information about the search subject, such as name, date of birth, gender, and date of the incident, the requester will be able to access the information required.

How to Correct an Arrest Record in Maine

When a person discovers an error in their arrest record, the State of Maine provides an opportunity to review and challenge the error. Such a person may visit the state bureau in person, put a call through or send mail to notify the unit of the error and request a change or correction.

The requester must state clearly what the mistake is and the correction required. The requester must also state why the correction is necessary.

When the individual sends in the request, SBI will look through the record to confirm the claims of the requester. If the report is affirmative, the bureau will correct the record and notify the requester of the findings and changes made. Should the requester be dissatisfied with the records, they can request a re-evaluation or appeal at a superior court. Only record owners can request a correction in their records, and a third party cannot correct mistakes in one's arrest records.

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Maine

Expunging an arrest record involves deleting all information regarding a criminal charge against a person, one of which the individual has undergone trial and has been convicted in the state. Expungement is an order implemented by law enforcement agents or state police. It authorizes them to destroy or delete criminal records following a judge's approval.

Though many states in the US provide ways for past offenders to delete criminal convictions records from their files, Maine has no procedure for expunging such records. In Maine, arrest or criminal records cannot be destroyed or erased. However, the state provides ways to seal or minimize the impact of a criminal record.

Juvenile Records

Arrest and criminal records of minors may be eligible for sealing if a minimum of three years have passed since the case was disposed of and the individual has no subsequent convictions or pending criminal charges. The individual must file a written motion with the court to seal this record. Once the court reviews and approves the request, the individual gets the order to seal the record.

Non-Conviction Records

The state also allows the sealing of records that did not result in the conviction of the accused person. These include arrest records of individuals of at least 12 months, charges not filed by the prosecutor or law enforcement officer, offenses dismissed due to mental disorders, and acquitted charges.

Executive Clemency

When a governor grants an offender an official pardon or reduces their sentence term while in prison, this action is called executive clemency. Executive clemency is a power exclusively utilized by the governor. When the governor grants a pardon, it does not authorize an offender to destroy the arrest records; but is reclassified as "non-conviction" records and can be removed from public access. Subsequently, the information will only be available based on the conditions highlighted in Title 16, section 611-622 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.

Maine Arrest Records Online | (2024)


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