Arrest Records in Maine

Table of Contents

Need more information? Check out our guides to Maine background checks and Maine public records.

 

Maine has a population of 1.344 million, placing it in the bottom 20% of U.S. states in both population and population density. Serious crime is extremely scarce in Maine: its violent crime rate is less than one-third of the national rate. Few areas in the state could be considered dangerous, and even Maine’s most dangerous city, Augusta, has a violent crime rate of just 3.24 per 1,000. Additionally, the state has the 28th ranked arrest per capita rate in the country. 

Maine Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, Maine recorded a mere 40,851 arrests, which were reported by 134 law enforcement agencies. Additionally, 2,845 minors under the age of 18 were arrested during that year.
  • Driving under the influence was the leading cause of arrest in the state, accounting for 5,811 arrests.
  • There are around 3,000 people listed in the Maine Sex Offender Registry. 

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, Maine Sex Offender Registry

 

What is a public arrest record?

An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.

An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.  

What is included in a public arrest record?

  • Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime. 
  • Date and location of the arrest
  • Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks. 
  • Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by. 
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal charges filed
  • Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Bail
  • Court date
  • Police interrogation details

What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?

Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:

  • Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering. 
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
  • Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.  

Who can access arrest records?

As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in Maine and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check. 

Other examples of Maine public records include:

  • vital records such as birth and death certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • mugshots
  • court records
  • voting records
  • property records 

Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in Maine?

Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. 

However, the central repository for criminal history record information in Maine is managed by the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

Why can’t I access an arrest record in Maine?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.

The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:

  1. The information is classified to protect natural security. 
  2. The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
  3. Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
  4. The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information. 
  5. The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies. 
  6. The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
  7. The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source. 
  8. The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision. 
  9. The information includes geographical information about wells.

Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?

Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.  

In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect. 

How many Americans have been arrested?

While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:

  • In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
  • 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
  • The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested: 
    • 6.4% of Americans  born before 1949
    • 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
    • 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
    • 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
    • 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988

Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, RAND Corporation

How to search online for Arrest Records in Maine

The Maine State Bureau of Identification provides a public Criminal History Record search that is available 24 hours a day and can be used to request the criminal history record information of any person in the database

Here’s the key information individuals should know about the search:

  • The service is fee-based, with each request costing $31 which can be paid with a major credit or debit card. (InforME subscribers only have to pay $21 for each request)
  • The database contains information about crimes that adults have been convicted of and juvenile records containing felonies.
  • The service is non-refundable. 
  • Criminal history records are accessible for 30 days after the request is processed. 
  • Searches are performed by providing the subject’s full name and date of birth.
  • Notarized reports are also available by paying an additional fee of $10 
  • Once you pay to use the service, you can track your transaction by typing in your Transaction ID at the bottom of this page

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Maine Criminal History Record search or the results delivered by the search, you can contact the Maine State Bureau of Identification at (207) 624-7240, or send an email to [email protected]

Fingerprint-based criminal record checks are also available for the same fee, but they require the submission of fingerprints to the SBI in person or through the mail. 

Contact the SBI for more information on how to proceed. 

How can I search for a Maine arrest record on the internet using a background check service?

Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access Maine arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee. 

However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents. 

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.  

What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?

If your Maine arrest record or criminal record contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you can submit a challenge to the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

To do so, contact the SBI at (207) 624-7240 and explain the situation and ask for instruction on how to make the correction. 

Alternatively, you can mail a written challenge request, along with a copy of the criminal history document with the mistake highlighted, and any documentation that supports your challenge to:

State Bureau of Identification

State House Station #42

Augusta, ME 04333-0042

Maine Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

CountyCourthouseAddressPhoneSheriffAddressPhone
Androscoggin CountyAndroscoggin County Superior Court2 Turner St
Auburn, ME 04210
207-330-7500Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office2 Turner St Unit 9
Auburn, ME 04210
207-753-2500
Aroostook CountyAroostook County Superior Court144 Sweden St
Caribou, ME 04736
207-498-8125Aroostook Sheriff's Department25 School St # 216
Houlton, ME 04730
207-532-3471
Cumberland CountyCumberland County Courthouse142 Federal St
Portland, ME 04101
207-822-4200Cumberland County Sheriff Office36 County Way
Portland, ME 04102
207-693-3369
Franklin CountyFranklin County Superior Court140 Main St
Farmington, ME 04938
207-778-3346Franklin County Sheriff's Office123 County Way
Farmington, ME 04938
207-778-2680
Hancock CountyHancock County Superior Court50 State St # 2
Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-667-7176Hancock County Sheriff's Office50 State St
Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-667-7575
Kennebec CountyKennebec County Superior Court1 Court Street, Suite 101
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 213-2800Kennebec County Sheriff125 State St #1
Augusta, ME 04330
207-623-3614
Knox CountyKnox County Superior Court62 Union St
Rockland, ME 04841
207-594-2576Knox County Sheriff's OfficePublic Safety Building, 301 Park St
Rockland, ME 04841
207-594-0429
Lincoln CountySuperior Court32 High St
Wiscasset, ME 04578
207-882-7517Lincoln County Sheriff's Department42 Bath Rd
Wiscasset, ME 04578
207-882-6576
Oxford CountyOxford County Superior Court26 Western Ave
South Paris, ME 04281
207-743-8936Oxford County Sheriff's Office26 Western Ave
South Paris, ME 04281
207-743-9554
Penobscot CountyPenobscot Judicial Center78 Exchange St
Bangor, ME 04401
207-561-2300Penobscot County Sheriff85 Hammond St
Bangor, ME 04401
207-947-4585
Piscataquis CountyPiscataquis County Superior Court159 E Main St
Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426
207-564-2240Piscataquis County Sheriff52 Court St
Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426
207-564-3304
Sagadahoc CountySuperior Court147 New Meadows Rd
West Bath, ME 04530
207-443-9733Sagadahoc County Sheriff752 High St
Bath, ME 04530
207-443-8529
Somerset CountySomerset County Courthouse41 Court St
Skowhegan, ME 04976
207-474-9518Somerset County Sheriff's Office131 E Madison Rd
Madison, ME 04950
207-474-9591
Waldo CountyWaldo County Superior Court11 Market St
Belfast, ME 04915
207-338-1940Waldo County Sheriff's Office6 Public Safety Way
Belfast, ME 04915
207-338-6786
Washington CountyWashington County Superior Court85 Court St
Machias, ME 04654
207-255-3326Sheriff's Department83 Court St
Machias, ME 04654
207-255-4422
York CountyYork County Superior Court45 Kennebunk Rd
Alfred, ME 04002
207-324-5122York County Sheriff's Department1 Layman Way
Alfred, ME 04002
207-324-1113

 

If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and maybe hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with ArrestRecords.com. Thanks to public records laws, almost all Maine arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Maine marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.

Violent Crime rate 

Property Crime rate 

Murder Crime rate 

Forcible Rape rate 

Robbery rate 

Assault rate 

Burglary rate 

Theft rate 

Motor Vehicle Theft rate