Crime Class in Maine: Felony & Misdemeanor Criminal Offenses

The State of Maine updated its laws is a new way to classify crimes. Instead of just misdemeanors and felonies, there are now five different classes of crimes in the Pine Tree State. In most places, criminal offenses are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. But in Maine, the State uses a different structure of criminal punishment.

Our state’s criminal offenses are divided into five classes: A, B, C, D, and E.

Each class of crime has its own maximum punishment. Class A crimes bring the most severe punishments. For example, A, B, and C crimes are felony offenses, with C class crimes being the least punitive of the felony classification crimes. Crime classes D and E are misdemeanor crimes, with potential jail sentences capped at 364 days. This means there are more options for a wide variety of punishments. It’s important to know which class your charges fall into and what penalties you could face. An example would be an arrest for possession of marijuana which is a serious criminal charge that one of our Saco and Portland criminal lawyers can handle for you. Or you may be facing an operating under the influence of alcohol charge (OUI-Alcohol) even if you blew under a 0.08 on the breathalyzer machine.

The classes go from A (the most serious) to E (the least serious). Class D and E crimes are considered misdemeanors. Classes A, B, and C are felony crimes. A highly trained attorney from Webb Law Maine will meticulously scrutinize the specifics of your accusations, pinpoint any possible mitigating elements, and formulate a strong defense plan. Moreover, provided is an overview of the diverse categories of crimes in Maine. This page by Founder John Webb is an outline of the various crime types in Maine.

What Is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor in Maine?  

In Maine, the primary distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor is based on the gravity of the crime and the possible punishments. A felony is a graver offense, bearing more severe repercussions, such as incarceration in state prison. Conversely, misdemeanors are less serious offenses with shorter possible jail terms, typically served in county detention centers.

The difference is crucial as it establishes the severity of the legal actions and the effect on a person’s criminal history. To understand more about the contrast between a felony and misdemeanor in Maine, keep reading below.

If Facing a Class B Felony Maine, Serious Prison Time is Possible

Offenses under Class B are gravely severe accusations. This category encompasses drug trafficking, certain sexual assault incidents, aggravated assault cases, and DUI with motor vehicles resulting in severe physical harm. Penalties for Class B offenses can reach up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

An Example of a Class C Crime Maine being Enhanced.

Aggravated criminal trespass (into an occupied dwelling) is a Class C crime. Typically, a maximum of 5 years would be the possible maximum jail time. However, certain repeat offenders or those who enter the dwelling for purposes of assault or sexual crimes can have their sentences enhanced by up to 10 years of additional prison time.

Misdemeanor Crimes Are Less Serious than Felony Crimes

In Maine, a misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony, but it still has important consequences. In Maine, a misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony. However, it still has significant consequences. Unlike felonies, misdemeanors usually result in shorter sentences. These sentences are served in county jails and have a maximum duration of 364 days.

Misdemeanors in Maine are divided into two types: Class D and Class E. A Class D misdemeanor could lead to a maximum of 364 days in a county jail and a penalty of up to $2,000.00. Conversely, a Class E misdemeanor could result in up to six months in a county jail and a fine of $1,000.00.

Some commonly occurring misdemeanors in the State of Maine:

  • Family Violence (also called Domestic Violence) charges when grievous bodily harm is not involved.
  • DUI (Impaired Driving) Offenses (1st offense OUI or a 2nd offense OUI)
  • Disorderly Conduct charges
  • Criminal speeding
  • Assault not using a weapon or causing grievous bodily injury or brain damage.
  • Drug Possession of a small amount of some controlled substances
  • Driving with a Suspended License

An Example of a Maine Class D Crime

For a criminal mischief Maine offense, this would be a Class D misdemeanor. The Pine Tree State’s penalties call for as much as 364 days in jail plus as much as a $2000.00 fine. The prosecutor also may seek to have the sentencing Judge order that restitution to the owner of the property defaced or damaged.

What Class crime is an operating under the influence case? OUI first offense or second offense cases also will be categorized as a Class D misdemeanor in Maine.

An Example of a Class E Misdemeanor Maine

What is a Class E crime in Maine? These least serious crimes in Maine are offenses punishable by up to six (6) months of incarceration and a fine not to exceed $1000. In Maine, a Class E crime might be something relatively minor, like damaging property that is worth less than $200.

As far as classification of crimes, what is criminal speeding in Maine? If convicted of criminal speeding in Maine, the person faces a Class E misdemeanor offense. These can bring a fine of up to $1,000, and up to a year on probation. This offense triggers an automatic driver license suspension of 30 days or more (judge’s discretion). Plus, the convicted driver can be ordered to serve up to six (6) months of jail time.

In most states, criminal charges are distinguished between misdemeanors and felonies. Typically, misdemeanor charges are less severe, rarely resulting in a jail term longer than one year. Felonies, on the other hand, usually consist of a state’s most serious crimes.

An Example of a Class A Crime Maine

If charged with a Class A felony Maine. These crimes are categorized as the State’s most severe criminal offenses. Murder, serious sex crime charges (e.g., rape) and aggravated trafficking of drugs, when minors are involved, for large quantities of drugs, or if a death occurs in connection with the crime (i.e., an overdose from drugs sold by client).

Murder also is a Class A felony and the crime of murder in the State of Maine can lead to twenty-five (25) years to life in prison. So, in Maine, murder charges will result in a jail term ranging from 25 years to life.

Judge Discretion Allowed for Sentencing to Align With the Type of Criminal Offense

When someone is found guilty of a crime in Maine, the judge decides that person’s punishment. The sentencing judge has a range of penalties within which she or he can impose punishment. The typical kinds of sentencing will be monetary fines, possible imprisonment, and possibly restitution to one or more victims of a crime. Like all other states, Maine’s range of potential punishments that were enacted through the Legislature will be based on the seriousness of that crime.

Judges can split the incarceration by ordering some period of time to be served in jail, with the remainder of the potential jail term to be served on probation. Usually, the judge will consider the details of the case and any aggravating factors. The defendant’s criminal record, age, health conditions and societal background may also be considered.

Judges can also order community service hours to be performed, or other forms of punishment that send a message to the offender to not engage in similar acts in the future. In some cases, the victim or their family may also contribute to the judge’s decision-making process. For several crimes, mandatory minimum sentences are required. The most severe penalty a person can receive is life imprisonment. The State of Maine does not use the death penalty. Serious crimes, like the crime of murder, are all classified as Class A crimes.

Class E Misdemeanor Crimes

Category E offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and/or imprisonment for up to 180 days.

This category is designated for less severe crimes such as operating with a suspended license, disorderly behavior, and theft of less than $1,000. Along with Category D offenses, these are generally classified as misdemeanors.

Class D Misdemeanor Criminal Offenses

Category D crimes encompass domestic violence assault incidents, assault, and OUI / DUI / DWI (driving under the influence) offenses. The maximum penalty for Category D offenses is up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000.

If you choose to plead guilty to a Category D crime, the judge has the authority to impose the maximum penalty, leaving you with no further legal options.

Class C Felony Maine Crimes

Class C represents the mildest form of felony crimes under Maine’s legal system. Attorneys in southern Maine often handle Class C crimes, such as escalated OUI charges for repeat offenders.

This could also encompass a felony recidivist charge, or an escalated criminal vandalism offense or minor felony theft crime. The maximum penalty for a Class C conviction is 5 years in prison or fines up to $5000.

Class B Serious Felonies

Class B crimes are highly serious accusations. This class encompasses drug dealing, specific sexual assault incidents, aggravated assault incidents, and DUI causing severe physical injury.

Class B offenses can result in punishments of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Class A – Most Serious Felony Crimes

Class A offenses in Maine are the most serious crimes, like manslaughter, rape, and drug trafficking. The maximum penalty is 30 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. If it’s murder, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life in prison. If a weapon is used, the charges are one class higher than usual.

If someone is charged with domestic violence, it’s usually a Class D crime. But if the perpetrator uses a gun, it becomes a Class C crime. If the crime was already a Class A crime, using a weapon will be considered for enhancement when the Judge decides on the punishment. Violation of the Maine age of consent law (Romeo and Juliette) could be classified as a serious felony.

Maine Age of Consent Law

Maine Marijuana Laws

Canadan Entry With DUI

Maine DUI Lawyers Near Me

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Southern Maine

It’s important to talk to a skilled criminal defense lawyer at Webb Law Maine. Our Maine attorneys can give you advice that fits your criminal law case.

Our 4 lawyers in southern Maine will provide you with specific, targeted legal advice adapted to the facts of your pending criminal case. Call us now, 24 hours a day, for your free lawyer consultation by dialing 207-283-6400.

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