In Maine, felonies are crimes punishable by state prison terms. Under Maine’s laws, all crimes (except for murder) are classified as Class A, B, or C crimes (felonies) or Class D or E crimes (misdemeanors). Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in local jail. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A §§ 4, 1252.)
For more information on misdemeanors in Maine, see Maine Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Murder in Maine is punishable by 25 years’ to life imprisonment. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A § 1251.)
Class A Crime
Class A crimes are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
(Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A §§ 1252, 1301.)
For example, sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 is a Class A crime. For more information on sex crimes and their penalties in Maine, see Maine Sexual Battery Laws.
Class B Crime
Under Maine’s laws, a Class B crime can result in a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A §§ 1252, 1301.)
Assaults that cause serious injury or are committed with deadly weapons are Class B crimes. For more information on the penalties for assault, see Assault in Maine, Aggravated Assault in Maine, and Elevated Aggravated Assault in Maine.
Class C Crime
A Class C crime is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A §§ 1252, 1301.) For example, theft of property worth less than $10,000 but more than $1,000 is a Class C crime in Maine.
For more information, see Maine Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws.
Statutes of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time period during which the state must begin criminal prosecution, or the defendant can have the case thrown out. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed. The most serious crimes have no statutes of limitations.
For more information, see Maine Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
Felony convictions have serious and lasting consequences. A felony conviction can make it difficult to obtain a job or a professional license and can limit your ability to run for public office and even vote. If you are charged with a felony in Maine, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will be able to tell you what to expect in court and how to prepare your case to best protect your rights.