When it comes to crime classifications, each state's own legislature
determines the law, statutes and sentencing guidelines. If you or a
loved one gets charged with a crime then is becomes essentially to
understand these distinctions. As with every state, a felony is a more
serious charge then a misdemeanor. Maine felonies are assigned a letter
classification and come with individual sentencing guidelines.
Class A Felony
If you are charged with a Class A felony in Maine it is because you are suspected of committing some of the most serious offenses. Among these types of crimes are murder which can be either a 1st or 2nd degree depending on the severity and circumstances. Typically, these types of murder charges are for premeditated murder or a murder that is carried out during the commission of a crime.
You can also be charged with a Class A felony for manslaughter which is a death that is caused by unintended consequences or in the "heat of the moment." Other Class A felony crimes include rape, arson, burglary, kidnapping or what Maine distinguishes as gross sexual assault which involves a minor under the age of 16.
A person who has been found guilty of a Class A murder felony will be facing a minimum of 25 years in prison. The other Class A felonies carries prison terms of up to a maximum of 30 years. The range of the actual sentence is determined by the judge in the case.
Class B Felony
There are many types of crimes that fall into the category of a Class B felony in Maine. Among these are a theft of services that exceed $10,000 in damages, aggravated assault, burglary including breaking and entering, drug crimes such as possession and intent to sell, larceny, stalking, aggravated assault, sexual crimes, and embezzlement. In Maine, Class B felonies can mean a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a possible fine that could be as high as $20,000.
Class C Felony
A Class C felony is still a very serious charge that could involve different kinds of drug crimes, robbery, perjury, forgery, terrorizing, reckless conduct with a deadly weapon or embezzlement for a lesser amount than a Class B embezzlement charge. Being found guilt of a Class C felony could mean going to jail for at least five years and facing a fine of $15,000.
Class D Felony
The final classification of a felony in Maine is the Class D. These charges can be for escaping from custody, reckless conduct, making threats, assaults or drug crimes. The sentencing in these cases is at least one year in jail and a possible fine of $10,000. In some cases you can be charged for the same type of crime as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Often an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to enter into a plea bargain agreement that could have you admitting guilt to a lesser charge as a way of avoiding a trial and moving on with your life.
Maine Restricts Felony Expungement
According to the state's law, if you have been convicted of a felony in Maine you won't be able to get that expunged from your record. On the other hand, Maine state law allows you to apply for DNA testing to see if your conviction can be overturned. Of course that depends on whether or not DNA evidence is applicable to your crime. If you were found not-guilty or the case was dismissed, you can petition the court to have your arrest record expunged.