What are arrest records and arrest warrants?
“Arrest records” is a term used interchangeably with criminal records. It refers to summary details connected to the passage of an adult offender or a juvenile delinquent, who is treated as an adult criminal, through the justice network of Maine. Typically, crime history data comprises of details collected from the police and judicial agencies such as the courts and the county clerks’ offices, state prosecution and the correctional department.
Juvenile records are included in the system as well; however these only comprise of information on homicide charges and Class A, B, C or offenses and transgressions for which the offender is being treated as an adult. Usually in case of premeditated and particularly heinous crimes, the juvenile offender will be tried as an adult. The State Bureau of Identification offers this information in response to warrant searches conducted with the name of the subject or his/her fingerprints.
Name based inquiries: These can be conducted through the State Police or the judiciary; the results returned are possible matches, meaning, you will get information on the arrest warrants released against people who have the same name as your subject, ditto for arrest records. For a name based investigation pertaining to active warrants, you will need to furnish the name with any or all aliases and the subject’s date of birth.
Fingerprint searches: These are positive match inquiries since the fingerprints are matched against those stored in the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). A complete set of the fingerprints should be submitted for such inquiries and this will have to be done by the subject who owns the arrest records. Only the State Bureau of Identification will undertake these inquiries.
Arrest warrants and their role in the criminal process
Any court directive that is meant to call for the custodial detention of a person is known as an arrest warrant; under this broad term are bench orders as well as active warrants for arrests. The latter are issued on the basis of an information or complaint filed in the court by the police. The document submitted with the petition for the arrest warrant brings details on the evidence before the bench.
Title 15, Chapter 101 states that the complaint required for ascertaining probable cause has to come from the prosecution. However, in the absence of a prosecuting attorney, the complaint can also be prepared by the office of the county clerk upon the express request of the sheriff’s department. The filed affidavit is deliberated on to ensure that the police have reasonable cause to believe that the accused can be held responsible for the crime in question. Outstanding warrants from ME can be served at any time and in any area of the state after their issue.
When seeking an arrest warrant search in Maine, you will only be told about detentions that are connected to cases with convictions, unless you are a statutorily authorized applicant who is also allowed to seek non -conviction details.
How do I search for Maine arrest records and warrants?
The SBI can be contacted at State House Station #42, Augusta, ME 04333-0042 for name and fingerprint inquiries. If you are initiating the latter, the response to the warrant search will be mailed to you in 10 to 15 days. You can also find information on arrest records online through the inforMe facility of the agency available at http://www5.informe.org/online/pcr/. The online database only holds Maine crime records while the WSBI can be contacted for federal crime data and criminal information from other states. However, only legislatively authorized applicants are allowed to avail this service.
You could also check out the court records of Maine for information primarily on civil litigations and certain criminal matters. A copy of the results will cost you $7 while you can get a certified document for a slightly higher price of $15. The public service terminals can also be used to browse through the court dockets in which case, you will just be charged $0.50 for every printed copy. To access this facility, go to the Maine State Archives, 84 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333.
Maine crime statistics
Over the decade that ended in 2008, nearly 340,000 criminal cases were filed in Maine. This is lower than most other states. The annual crime average of Maine can be derived from this figure and it stands at roughly 34000 cases per annum. Of these complaints, about 5% are made against instances of violent crime and in 50% of the cases the victim is near his home or office when the incident occurs.
In these ten years, violent crime rates showed a deterioration, increasing by almost 10%. However, this rise was curbed by the fact that reported criminal activity for the state fell by nearly 6%. Overall, the trend seems to indicate an improving crime scenario in Maine.