Maine does not allow the expungement of adult criminal records. Instead, under some circumstances, your record may be designated “nonconviction data.” If your record qualifies as nonconviction information, it will be sealed from public view and, in most cases, you will not have to disclose that you were arrested or convicted of a crime.
What Qualifies as Nonconviction Information in Maine?
Your record may be considered nonconviction data if:
- you were arrested but not charged and at least one year has passed with no active prosecution
- the police affirmatively decided not to refer your case to a prosecutor, whether or not one year has passed
- a prosecutor decided not to initiate proceedings against you
- proceedings against you were postponed indefinitely -- for example, if your case was “filed” because you were determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial
- the case against you was dismissed
- you were acquitted, or
- you were granted a full and free pardon
(16 Maine Revised Statutes Annotated §§ 611-613.)
To check and/or correct your criminal record, contact the State Bureau of Identification.
Obtaining a Pardon
If you were convicted of a crime in Maine, the only way to clear your record is to receive a pardon. To qualify, you must wait at least five years from the date that you completed your sentence. Certain offenses -- including driving under the influence – cannot be pardoned under Maine law.
You can find information about pardons by visiting the website of the Maine Department of Corrections.
Getting Legal Help
Because Maine offers so few options for sealing records, the process of cleaning up your criminal history can be tricky. To learn more, you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can assess your personal situation and guide you each step of the way.