Maine divides its criminal offenses into classes, going from the least serious Class E to the most serious Class A. Murder is outside the classification and is the most serious offense.
What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
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Class D and E offenses are referred to as misdemeanors as they carry lesser sentences (up to six months for a Class E, up to one year for a Class D) and are dealt with differently by the Courts, primarily in District Court.
District Court is less formal, and any trial will be before a judge, not a jury, unless the Defendant asks for a jury trial.
A felony is any crime punishable by prison for a period of one year or more.
Class A, B and C offenses are considered felonies, and are more serious offenses. They carry minimum sentences of up to five years (Class C), up to ten years (Class B) and up to thirty years (Class A), with murder being subject to between 25 years and life.
Felonies are dealt with in Superior Court, and are heard before a jury. Unless the Defendant waives the right, the charges must also be brought by indictment by a Grand Jury.