Maine Expungement Laws
Every state has the right to set their own laws as it pertains not only to their residents but anyone who might be "passing through." Even a weekend at a quaint bed and breakfast inn doesn't mean you can't get into trouble. If you find yourself arrested for any charge in Maine, you can seek out an expungement of the arrest record if you were later to be found innocent of the charges or the case was dismissed. Maine also provides for an alternate route to an expungement of arrest and court records and that is with obtaining a pardon or executive clemency.
These specific types of petitions are granted on a very limited basis and the petitioner has to meet certain conditions. The most important requirement is that five years needs to have passed from the incident to the application without any further brushes with the law. The Maine courts are very clear about who won't be allowed expungement or a pardon hearing. Anyone who was arrested for an offense involving DUI won't be eligible. The same holds true for anyone who was convicted of a sex crime or who is merely looking to obtain a firearm permit. Juvenile offenders are held to the same standards in the pardon application process. When a case involves some form of judicial mistake then instead of an expungement you should be seeking an appeal. That same holds true for having a criminal record reversed. There are many conditions that would apply to these types of cases that only an experienced criminal defense lawyer would be aware of.
If an expungement or pardon is granted, then all the arrest records and court transcripts are deemed off limits for a public review. The best course of action for anyone seeking a pardon or expungement of their records is to contact the Maine Secretary of State. Because additional hearings and applications forms are involved, you will put yourself in a stronger position if you are being advised by a lawyer who understands how the Maine court system works.
Once a pardon or expungement has been granted, then you can assume that any background check will reveal a spotless record. This will matter a lot if you ever find yourself applying for military service or seeking out a job that would require a simple background check. If your records have been expunged, you will not have to check "yes" on the application form if asked about being arrested.
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