In the State of Maine, Domestic Violence cases are treated very seriously. Domestic Violence Assault is any Assault that occurs between family or household members. In Maine, this is a Class D misdemeanor crime. That means that it is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
However, Domestic Violence Assault can also be aggravated to a felony offense in some situations. If, at the time of the offense, the person has prior convictions for Domestic Violence, then the new Assault may be elevated to a Class C felony. Class C felony charges are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In addition, if the Assault is particularly serious and rises to the level of bodily injury that created a substantial risk of either death or extended convalescence, then the charge may be elevated to a Class B felony Aggravated Assault. If, for example, there is an allegation of strangulation, then this will also be charged as a Class B Aggravated Assault. If there is bodily injury with a dangerous weapon, then that can also be considered an Aggravated Assault and be charged as a Class B felony. Class B felony charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Most people think about domestic violence as physical assault between spouses, but domestic violence has a much broader definition under Maine law. When children are present, no physical contact may be necessary for criminal charges to be brought against you. This section addresses the common question of, “What is domestic violence?”
Domestic violence can occur between any members of a household, and individuals in an intimate relationship, such as a couple who is dating. A charge of domestic violence in Maine can also be brought by an ex-spouse, a former live-in person, and anyone you previously dated and with whom you had an intimate relationship.
In Maine, domestic violence also includes acts other than physical abuse. Domestic violence includes all forms of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. It also includes acts and crimes committed to intimidate or control the victim, or cause the victim emotional distress. As you can see, there are a number of crimes that can be charged from an alleged assault. The particular crime charged will depend on a number of factors including your relationship to the alleged victim, the way in which the assault occurred, and what, if any, injuries were suffered as a result of the assault.
Assault charges, particularly those involving Domestic Violence, are especially complicated cases. Not only are the elements of the crime complex, there are also a number of collateral consequences at risk if you are convicted of a Domestic Violence crime. If you are convicted of a Domestic Violence Assault charge, that means that you will forever be prohibited from ever owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition. In addition, if you are convicted of a felony offense, this may impact your eligibility for certain loans and other federal assistance, your rights to vote in some states, and your ability to hold certain professional licenses.
Domestic Violence charges may impact all areas of your life. Not only are you facing potential jail time and a fine, you are also facing potential probation. As one of the terms of your probation, you may be asked to participate in the Certified Batterer’s Intervention Program (CBIP). CBIP is a 48-week long course for those accused of Domestic Violence.
Domestic Violence is an extremely serious allegation and it is critical that if you have been accused of Assault or any other crime involving Domestic Violence, that you speak to an experienced Maine crime lawyer right away. Because Maine domestic violence encompasses such a wide range of behaviors, it is crucial that anyone under investigation for domestic violence call our office immediately. The quicker our legal team can begin amassing evidence to refute the allegations, the better chance you have of the charges being dismissed. There is a lot at stake when dealing with these types of cases and it is important to make sure that your rights are protected. If you have been accused of a Domestic Violence crime or any other criminal offense, call the attorneys at Webb Law Firm today for a free consultation.