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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Maine State Police, State Bureau of Identification is the State agency responsible for the maintenance and dissemination of Maine criminal history record information and Maine juvenile crime information.
Agency Contact and Address Information
Mailing Address: State Bureau of Identification
State House Station #42
Physical Location: 45 Commerce Drive, Suite 1, Augusta
Phone:Voice (207) 624-7240, TDD (207) 287-3659
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
What is criminal history record information?
Criminal history record information includes summary information concerning the passage of an adult through the criminal justice system. Criminal history record information includes data supplied by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts and correctional facilities. . For a statutory definition of "criminal history record information see 16 MRSA §611(3).
What is juvenile crime information?
Juvenile crime information is the summary information concerning the passage of a juvenile through the juvenile justice system. Juvenile crime information may include data supplied by law enforcement agencies, juvenile community corrections officers, prosecutors, courts and correctional facilities. Generally juvenile crime information only contains information relative to offenses that would constitute murder or a Class A, Class B or Class C crime if the juvenile involved had committed the offense as an adult. The term "juvenile crime information" is not defined elsewhere; but see "administration of juvenile criminal justice" 15 MRSA §3308(7)(A)(2).
What types of Criminal History Record Information and Juvenile Crime Information checks are available through InforME?
Checks of Maine Criminal History Record Information and Maine Juvenile Crime Information:
The State Bureau of Identification provides criminal history record information and juvenile crime information from data gathered from Maine law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, and correctional facilities. Two types of checks are offered.
Records based upon a possible match between the name(s) and dates of birth associated with the criminal history record information or juvenile crime information and the name(s) and dates of birth of the subject of the record request. Please note that a positive match between a criminal history record or juvenile crime record and an individual can only be made if based upon fingerprints.
Records based upon a positive match between the fingerprints associated with the criminal history record information or juvenile crime information and the fingerprints of the subject of the record request. Fingerprint checks require the direct submission of fingerprints to the State Bureau of Identification. The criminal history record or juvenile crime information will be returned to you through the US postal mail.
Are national or interstate criminal history record checks available through InforME?
Checks of criminal history record information maintained by the federal government or from other states is not available through InforME. Under certain circumstances, and pursuant to particular statutory authority, checks of criminal history record information maintained by the federal government and other states is available through the State Bureau of Identification. For more information contact the State Bureau of Identification directly.
What is the cost of a criminal history record or juvenile crime information record check?
For a member of the public or a non governmental entity.
A thirty-one dollar ($31.00) fee ($21.00 for inforME subscribers in the state of Maine) is required to process a request for a criminal history record or juvenile crime information record. This fee is required for the record search and is not dependent upon the results of the search. There is no difference in the fee for a name-based check or a fingerprint-based check.
For a State of Maine governmental entity.
When engaged in licensing.
If the criminal history record or juvenile crime information is being requested as part of the licensing process, for a definition of "licensing process see 5 MRSA §8002(6) , process the State Bureau of Identification charges a thirty-one dollar ($31.00) ($21.00 for inforME subscribers in the state of Maine) fee to process the record request. This fee is required for the record search and is not dependent upon the results of the search. By statute, 25 MRSA §1541(6), the cost of the criminal history record check may be passed on to the applicant by the governmental entity.
When not engaged in licensing.
There is no fee for a criminal history information or juvenile crime record that is requested by a State of Maine governmental entity if the record is being used for non licensing purposes. See, 25 MRSA §1541(6).
For a non-Maine governmental entity.
A governmental entity that is not a governmental entity of the State of Maine, a county of the State of Maine or a municipality of the State of Maine is subject to a thirty-one dollar ($31.00) ($21.00 for inforME subscribers in the state of Maine) fee to process each request for a criminal history record or juvenile crime information record. This fee is required for the record search and is not dependent upon the results of the search. See, 25 MRSA §1541(6).
What does it mean "when a criminal history record and juvenile crime information record check is processed by the State Bureau of Identification using personal identifiers such as name and date of birth, it is possible that the record supplied belongs to another person with the same or essentially similar name and date of birth."
The documents that the State Bureau of Identification receive, more often than not, do not contain gender and/or Social Security number information. At this time, the only way this agency makes a positive identification is with the comparison of fingerprints.
Names, dates of births, social security numbers, etc. are inherently unreliable in the criminal justice context. All are subject to the possibility of being falsified and making them unreliable which leads to the potential for fraud, mistake and/or abuse. Identity theft is one of the most prevalent crimes being reported today.
Identifications based solely upon a comparison of subjects' names or other non-unique identification characteristics or numbers or combinations thereof do not constitute positive identification. When a name based request is submitted, all that this agency can provide is criminal history information that meets specific scoring criteria that takes into consideration the issue of "false positives and false negatives" for returns. Name/date of birth checks generally result in these two types of errors:
1) Inaccurate or wrong identifications known as "false positives" as a result of the personal identifiers used that are identical or similar such as names and/or dates of births that belong to another person. Personal identifiers such as names, dates of birth, social security numbers, sex and race are not unique to particular individuals. Errors often occur due to misspellings or intentional inaccurate information provided by individuals who wish to avoid discovery of his or her prior criminal history; and
2) The other error is known as "false negatives" which means identification was missed completely therefore the requestor does not receive any criminal history information when it actually exists. Any criminal history record information system wants to minimize, as much as possible, the number of "false negatives." There is an administrative review process outlined in Title 16 that allows an individual the opportunity to question his or her results. If it is discovered that a correction must be made, this agency is required by law to provide a corrected and complete reply to any requestor who has inquired upon this individual within the past year of inquiry date.
The advice this agency gives out, for any name and date of birth requests, is to include all associated names for the individual being requested upon. Women, in particular, are individuals with multiple last names due to marriages. On the web page where you typed in the name being requested, the last column is labeled Maiden or Previous Married Name only. This allows the requestor to make three name searches on the same individual; for example: Test Public, Test Law and Test Criminal, all who have the same date of birth. There are numerous incidents that we encounter as a matter of routine where a Social Security number supplied has been transposed, belongs to a sibling, intentionally given in error or just erroneously recorded by someone. As noted above, name and date of birth searches are not reliable since personal identifiers used are not unique to any one individual, whereas, a fingerprint based criminal history record request will match those prints for an individual regardless of the name and/or date of birth and/or SSN and/or height, weight, hair color, etc. used for descriptors given on prior arrests and such.
Lastly, there are Federal laws in place regarding when an individual's Social Security number may or may not be used by a government agency. Our Criminal History Record Information system is a "lights out" 24/7 technical environment which enables this unit to answer in excess of 7,000 name searches per week. The "non-use" of the Social Security number is a policy decision made based on best business practices suggestions from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other criminal justice agencies with expertise in criminal history record information systems. For more information and/or clarifications, please contact this agency at 624-7240.
What is the difference between a criminal justice and a non-criminal justice purpose?
Criminal history record information and juvenile crime information records are provided according to the purpose for which they were requested. There are two purposes, criminal justice and non-criminal justice.
Records are provided for a criminal justice purpose when requested by a criminal justice agency. A criminal justice agency is a federal, state, district, county or local government agency or any subunit thereof that performs the administration of criminal justice under a statute or executive order, and that allocates a substantial part of its annual budget to the administration of criminal justice. See, 25 MRSA §1541(4). The administration of criminal justice means detection, apprehension, detention, pre trial release, post-trial release, prosecution, adjudication, correctional supervision or rehabilitation of accused persons or criminal offenders.
Generally these activities are undertaken by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, probation and parole agencies and correctional facilities.
A complete record is provided for criminal justice purposes. A complete record contains both conviction and non conviction information for adult offenders and adjudications and non-adjudications for juvenile offenders.
Any request by a person or entity that is not a criminal justice agency is considered a non-criminal justice request. Only records of adult convictions (unless the arrest information is without disposition, a year has elapsed since the arrest and no action or prosecution is pending) and juvenile adjudications are contained in a non-criminal justice record.
Where can I find Maine law regarding criminal history record information and juvenile crime information?
The Criminal History Record Information Act, and the Maine Juvenile Code govern the dissemination of criminal history record information and juvenile crime information. Generally, non-criminal justice entities may access criminal history record information data related to convictions for crimes committed by adults and juvenile crime information data related to adjudications for offenses committed by juveniles.
Additional information regarding the governing law may be found at the following links:
Can an individual access, review and challenge his or her own record?
Yes, 16 MRSA §620 governs the right to access, review and challenge criminal history record information. While there is no specific provision related to the access, review and challenge of juvenile crime information, the State Bureau of Identification affords individuals the same process as that which is used for criminal history records.
When the subject of a criminal history record disagrees with the information contained in the record, he or she may contact the State Bureau of Identification in person or by mail to request amendment or correction of the criminal history record. The request shall indicate the particular record involved, the nature of the correction sought and the justification for the amendment or correction.
Upon receipt of the request for review, the State Bureau of Identification will research the record to determine if the questioned information is accurate and complete. If the State Bureau of Identification concludes that the record contains inaccurate or incomplete information the Bureau will take immediate action to correct the record. The State Bureau of Identification will notify the requestor, in writing, of the findings and any corrections made to the record within 15 business days of receipt of the request.
If the requestor disagrees with the State Bureau of Identification's findings, he or she may appeal the decision. See 16 MRSA §620.
Should I use this process if I am requesting a record on behalf of a criminal justice agency, as part of an adult or child protective investigation or pursuant to the Security Clearance Information Act?
No, your response will be limited conviction or adjudicated information only. You may also be subject to a fee for the record search.
If you are conducting record searches for the administration of criminal justice, criminal justice employment or Maine adult or child protective investigations pursuant to 22 MRSA §3480(1)(B) or §4021(1)(B), you are entitled to the complete record at no cost. These records are available through the State Police METRO system. Contact Ms. Jackie Theriault, Maine State Police at (207) 626-3922 or Jackie.M.Therialut@maine.gov or further information.
If you are conducting record searches for pursuant to the Security Clearance Information Act, 5 USC §9101, you are entitled to the complete record. Record searches of this type require the submission of fingerprints. These record searches are subject to a fee of thirty-one dollar ($31.00) ($21.00 for inforME subscribers in the state of Maine). Contact Mr. Matthew Ruel, State Bureau of Identification at (207) 624-7241 or Matthew.R.Ruel@maine.gov for further information.
How do I contact the criminal history record repository in another state?
If you have any questions regarding your responses, you may contact:
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