Potential Sentences and Punishment
If you are convicted of a crime you will be sentenced by the court. Sentencing is a very complex and involves numerous legal and factual determinations to complete.
Below are just the basic maximum sentences the court may impose for a particular class of crime. Be aware that this is not inclusive of every possible scenario and does not include particular cases where certain enhancements or mandatory minimum sentences may apply.
Class A crime, the court shall set a definite period not to exceed 30 years;
Class B crime, the court shall set a definite period not to exceed 10 years;
Class C crime, the court shall set a definite period not to exceed 5 years;
Class D crime, the court shall set a definite period of less than one year;
Class E crime, the court shall set a definite period not to exceed 6 months.
Any sentence for a Class A, B, or C crime that exceeds 9 months results in a prison sentence. Prison sentences are administered by the Maine Department of Corrections. Locations for incarceration include Maine State Prison, Maine Correctional Center, Bolduc Correctional Facility, Mountain View Correctional Facility, Downeast Correctional Facility, and the Southern Maine Women’s Reentry Center.
Any sentence for a Class D or E crime results in a jail sentence. Jail sentences are administered by county sheriffs. Locations include Cumberland County Jail, York County Jail, Two Bridges Regional Jail, Androscoggin County Jail, Kennebec County Jail, etc.
$50,000 for a Class A crime;
$20,000 for a Class B crime;
$5,000 for a Class C crime;
$2,000 for a Class D crime;
$1,000 for a Class E crime.
Regardless of the classification of the crime, any higher amount that does not exceed twice the pecuniary gain derived from the crime by the defendant.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any person convicted of a crime under section 1103, 1105-A, 1105-B, 1105-C, 1105-D, 1106 or 1107-A may be sentenced to pay a fine of an amount equal to the value at the time of the offense of the scheduled drug or drugs upon which the conviction is based.
In addition to any other authorized sentencing alternative, the court shall impose a minimum fine of $400, none of which may be suspended, for a person convicted of a crime under section 1103; 1104; 1105-A; 1105-B; 1105-C; 1105-D; 1106; 1107-A; 1108; 1109; 1110; 1111; 1111-A, subsection 4-A; 1116; 1117; or 1118
$100,000 for a Class A crime;
$40,000 for a Class B crime;
$20,000 for a Class C crime;
$10,000 for a Class D crime or a Class E crime.
Any higher amount that does not exceed twice the pecuniary gain derived from the crime by the convicted organization.
Maine Sentencing Principles for Incarceration
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In Maine, sentencing for criminal offenses is governed by statute and case law. Below are the guiding general provisions and principles of sentencing under the Maine sentencing statute:
To prevent crime through the deterrent effect of sentences, the rehabilitation of convicted persons, and the restraint of convicted persons when required in the interest of public safety;
To encourage restitution in all cases in which the victim can be compensated and other purposes of sentencing can be appropriately served.
To minimize correctional experiences which serve to promote further criminality;
To give fair warning of the nature of the sentences that may be imposed on the conviction of a crime;
To eliminate inequalities in sentences that are unrelated to legitimate criminological goals;
To encourage differentiation among offenders with a view to a just individualization of sentences;
To promote the development of correctional programs that elicit the cooperation of convicted persons;
To permit sentences that do not diminish the gravity of offenses, with reference to the factors, among others, of:
A. The age of the victim, particularly of a victim of an advanced age or of a young age who has a reduced ability to self-protect or who suffers more significant harm due to age; and
B. The selection by the defendant of the person against whom the crime was committed or of the property that was damaged or otherwise affected by the crime because of the race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or homelessness of that person or of the owner or occupant of that property; and
To recognize domestic violence as a serious crime against the individual and society and to recognize batterers' intervention programs certified pursuant to Title 19-A, section 4014 as the most appropriate and effective community intervention in cases involving domestic violence.
Maine Sentencing Principles for Fines
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In determining the amount of a fine, unless the fine amount is mandatory, and in determining the method of payment of a fine, the court shall take into account the present and future financial capacity of the offender to pay the fine and the nature of the financial burden that payment of the fine will impose on the offender or a dependent of the offender, if any.
An offender who asserts a present or future incapacity to pay a fine or asserts that the fine will cause an excessive financial hardship on the offender or on a dependent of the offender has the burden of proving the incapacity or excessive hardship by a preponderance of the evidence. On appeal of a sentencing alternative involving a fine, the offender has the burden of demonstrating that the incapacity or excessive financial hardship was proven as a matter of law.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court may suspend all or a portion of a minimum fine under section 1301, subsection 6 or under section 207, subsection 3 or under Title 29-A, section 2412-A, subsection 3, and the court may impose a fine other than the mandatory fine if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there are exceptional circumstances that justify imposition of a lesser financial penalty. In making a finding of exceptional circumstances, the court may consider:
A. Reliable evidence of financial hardship on the part of the offender and the offender's family and dependents;
B. Reliable evidence of special needs of the offender or the offender's family and dependents;
C. Reliable evidence of the offender's income and future earning capacity and the offender's assets and financial resources from whatever source;
D. Reliable evidence regarding any pecuniary gain derived from the commission of the offense; and
E. The impact of imposition of the mandatory fine on the offender's reasonable ability to pay restitution under chapter