By: John S. Webb, Maine Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me in southern Maine
This article discusses domestic violence penalties (if convicted) and some of the available criminal defenses. Multiple potential defenses exist to a domestic violence Maine criminal charge. The most common one is domestic violence self-defense.
A person being physically assaulted can defend himself or herself if being attacked. An ex-parte restraining order is available from a Judge to assure no additional personal injury. The Latin phrase “ex parte” means that only one party sought the Order, without the other being present.
Having an audio recording or video of an encounter, to prove it was not violent of harassing is rare, in the criminal defense business. But, immediately getting contemporaneous photographic or video proof of the accused person’s bruises, cuts, and defensive marks are invaluable.
Retaining Portland, ME criminal lawyers (or our attorneys in Saco, ME) for fighting a no contact order or other protective orders can pay big dividends later. In the highly emotional aftermath of a police investigation and arrest, tensions are at their highest. You need a legally-trained attorney with experience in dealing with Maine domestic violence laws, and the judges who decide when and if to lift a temporary order against you.
Sometimes Domestic Violence Charges Are Misused as a Weapon or Tool
The criminal defense lawyers from our law office have seen examples of a family violence charge or sexual assault allegation being misused by a devious spouse. This can occur when one spouse uses bogus physical abuse charges made by a family or household member to gain an advantage in a divorce or child custody case.
The objective (in a family law case) may be to either be awarded use or ownership of the family residence or gain primary custody over the children, or both. In these instances, the citizen in southern Maine charged with domestic battery or assault must act quickly to prevent life-long consequences from a conviction of domestic violence in Maine.
What Is the Potential Punishment for a Maine Domestic Violence Conviction?
In most cases, domestic violence convictions are sentenced as a Class D misdemeanor. The sentence can include up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, probation, and mandated completion of an intervention and education program, to assure future protection from harassment and bodily injury.
If you have been convicted of domestic violence within the past 10 years, either in Maine or any other state, a second offense elevates the crime to a felony sentenced as a Class C felony. Potential punishment includes a fine of up to $5,000, prison sentence of up to 5 years, and up to 2 years of probation.
In either case (felony or misdemeanor), you will be prohibited from owing or possessing a firearm if you are convicted of domestic violence. This includes possessing and using firearms for hunting purposes as well as personal protection. The federal law prohibiting firearms for convictions of domestic violence is for life — you will never again own or possess a firearm. For some avid hunters, this punishment is far worse than the jail time or fine.
You Deserve A Strong Legal Defense by a Criminal Justice Attorney in Maine
If charged with family violence, and you live in southern Maine (which includes Augusta southward, including the cities of Portland, Lewiston, Sanford, Biddeford, Saco, Rockland, Camden, York, Lebanon, Waterboro, Kennebunkport, Windham, Gardiner, Bridgeton, Naples or Standish) our Maine criminal attorneys can help you. Whether you are under investigation for domestic violence or you have already been arrested for domestic violence, act quickly to protect your legal rights. We can also help with sexual abuse cases where upon conviction a person must register with the Maine sex offender registry.
An Experienced Criminal Law Attorney Who Can Help – Saco Maine Family Violence/Portland Maine Domestic Violence
Domestic violence assault cases can be complex, emotional cases that require delicate but aggressive representation. At the Webb Law Firm, our Maine criminal lawyers in Saco and Portland believe every person is entitled to the best legal defense possible, and that every person is innocent until the District Attorney proves the case. If you need to try to lift a protection from abuse order, call us, and don’t GUESS at the best criminal lawyer from some lawyer directory showing lawyers near me.
Our attorneys in Maine have represented clients from Augusta ME and south of there for two and a half decades. Our criminal attorneys, Criminal Defense Attorney Katie Campbell, John Webb, and Maine domestic violence attorney Vincent S. LoConte (shown above) will conduct a thorough and sifting investigation, to see if defenses available under Maine’s criminal laws can be asserted.
Links to Websites for Victims of Domestic Violence or Abuse:
Maine is a state with high rates of women killed through family violence (9th in United States)