Guide to Maine Misdemeanor Charges where Probation is Authorized

Probation is not generally available for Class D or E  misdemeanor charges in Maine. However, the statute does allow probation for a limited number of misdemeanor crimes. The following is a list of of those crimes with links to the relevant statutes. For more information about Criminal Sentencing in Maine, click the link.

Probation can be imposed for the following Misdemeanors:

  1. A misdemeanor stemming from conduct that that could have resulted in felony charges.
    • The prosecution and defendant must agree to probation in writing and,
    • The Court must find that the facts of the case could have resulted in a class A, B or C felony conviction and,
    • The Defendant must have no prior felonies and must not have previously been on probation.
  2. A Class D Domestic Violence Misdemeanor committed against a family or household member or Dating Partner.
  3. A class D drug crime such as Drug Possession which involves a Schedule W drug such as cocaine.
  4. Violating a court order for Protection from  HarassmentProtection from Abuse, or other protective order issued if that order was issued as as part of a domestic violence crime.
  5. Any misdemeanor Sex offense under chapter 11 including Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Unlawful Sexual Contact, Unlawful Sexual touching. Or any misdemeanor under chapter 12 including Possession of sexually explicit materials.
  6. Stalking 17-A §210-A even if not commited against a family or household member.
  7. Non Support of Dependents 17-A §552
  8. Misdemeanor Incest 17-A §556
  9. Indecent Conduct 17-A §854 except for having sex in public under 854(1)(A)(1) for some reason.
  10. Misdemeanor patronizing prostitution of a minor 17-A §855.
  11. Second offense Operating Under the Influence 29-A,§ 2411( 1-A)(B).
  12. Cruelty to Animals 17 §1031.
  13. Possession of Synthetic Hallucinogenic Dugs, 17-A §1119(1).
  14. Violation of Conditions of Release 15 §1092 where the person is on bail for a domestic violence offense, and violates the bail by contacting the victim or by possessing a firearm.

Length of Probation for Misdemeanors

Maine Statute 17-A § 1202 provides that only 1 year of probation can be imposed for misdemeanors. However, 2 years of probation can be ordered if, the conviction is for a Domestic Violence Offense and the defendant is ordered to complete a certified batters intervention course as apart of the probation. That class is 48 weeks long and the law allows probation to terminate once the defendant has finished the class and has served at least one year of probation. Since these classes are only open to male students, there is the possibility that these sentences are unconstitutional as a violation of the equal protection clause. A case before the Maine Supreme Court presents this issue but it remains an open question for now.

How does Probation Work in Maine?

Maine uses split sentence probation. Here, a person is sentenced to a jail term which is fully or partially suspended with a period of probation to follow release. While on probation, the person is free but subject to conditions such as not to contact with the victim and not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs drinking. For Example, the sentence could be 180 days with all but 80 days suspended and 1 year of probation. The person must first serve 80 days in jail since that portion of the sentence was unsuspended. They will then be released to serve 1 year of probation. If they complete that year without violating conditions, probation terminates and they never return to jail. If they violate any probation conditions they can be sent back to jail to serve some or all of the 100 days remaining on the sentence.

Guide to Maine Misdemeanor Charges where Probation is Authorized by
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