Maine law does not allow the expungement of adult criminal records. The state differentiates between "public criminal history record information" and "confidential criminal history information." Your adult conviction or other criminal history records will fall into one of these categories, each of which is viewable by specific individuals or agencies, for specific purposes. (For a few years, Maine authorized expungement for class E crimes committed by youth between the ages of 18 and 21, but this authorization expired in 2019.)
Confidential information includes not just convictions but also arrests, bail records, plea bargains, indictments, sentencing, appeals, and so on. The following types of records are considered confidential:
(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 16, § 703 (2020).)
A Maine criminal justice agency (such as law enforcement, courts, and prosecutors) can disseminate (share) confidential criminal history record information to other criminal justice agencies and to:
(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 16, § 705 (2020).)
Criminal history record information is basically everything not included in "Confidential History," explained above. Broadly speaking, it includes all convictions, whether the person has served and completed the sentence, or not, and limited information on pending cases less than a year old.
If you were convicted of a crime in Maine, the only way to "seal" your conviction record is to receive a pardon. But even with a pardon, your record won't be erased; rather it will be classified confidential in Maine. Anyone granted a pardon can apply to the State Bureau of Investigation ten years after discharge from the sentence to have the FBI's offense record deleted.
To qualify for a pardon, 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.
(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 15, § 2167 (2020).)
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.