Ruffner Greenbaum & LeBrasseur
Attorneys At Law

Felony or Misdemeanor? Maine’s Classification of Crimes Explained:

Unlike many states, Maine does not divide crimes into the categories of “felonies” and “misdemeanors.” Rather, Maine classifies crimes as A, B, C, D or E. The higher the classification of the crime, the more severe the penalties associated with it.

Most defendants want to know how a crime’s classification will affect their ability to apply for a job; apply for certain State and Federal assistance programs; apply for student financial aid for college or graduate school; to vote; or to possess a firearm. If Maine doesn’t classify crimes as felonies or misdemeanors, how will you know if you have to “check the box” indicating that you have been convicted of a felony when applying for a job or filling out a form?

Well, for practical purposes, crimes that Maine classifies as A, B or C are traditionally considered “felonies;” and crimes that are classified as D or E are considered “misdemeanors.”

Aside from wondering about the side-effects of being found guilty of a “felony” or “misdemeanor,” many defendants wonder what sort of penalties they may face based on the class of the crime with which they are charged.  Every class of crime can carry certain maximum and minimum penalties. Click here to read Maine’s sentencing guidelines.

No matter what class of crime you are charged with, conviction of any class of crime can bring with it a burdensome sentence and cause a defendant a significant number of unforeseen side-effects.  These side-effects may greatly limit or eliminate a defendant’s freedom.  If you are charged with a crime, you should pursue the advice of an experienced attorney to assist you in defending your rights.