As all other states do, Maine raises the stakes of physical threats and violence between family members compared to threats and violence between individuals not together in a domestic relationship. Such a crime is considered domestic violence. Mere allegations of domestic violence can do real damage to your standing in your community and within your own family. Convictions can have devastating consequences to both your immediate and long-term future. While there are several different types of crimes under state law regarding domestic violence, this blog will focus on domestic violence assault.
To begin to understand what domestic violence assault is, you must understand what “assault” is. Maine defines assault as when someone “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury or makes offensive physical contact” with another individual. For assault to be considered domestic violence assault, it must be inflicted on someone who is your current or former spouse, domestic partner, roommate, family member or sexual partner. Additionally, domestic violence assault can apply to minor children (who may not necessarily live in the same house as you).
After your arrest on domestic violence charges, you will generally need to post cash bail to be released from prison while preparing for your trial. Bail usually comes with stipulations, such as not being able to leave your house or community and having to attend all court hearings. The “victim” will likely pursue a protective order, which can be temporary, or permanent. You will be able to respond to a request for a temporary or permanent protective order, but, in the meantime, you must abide by its terms. Such terms usually include keeping a certain distance from the victim and refraining from contacting certain people (including the victim).
A conviction for domestic violence assault in Maine carries a possible prison sentence of up to one year and a $2,000 fine; convictions for first-timers are regarded as Class D Misdemeanors. If you have previous domestic-violence convictions, then your domestic violence assault conviction will be considered a Class C felony. Class C felonies in Maine carry a possible five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. People who are released from prison on domestic-violence convictions are usually put on probation for a minimum of 2 years.
A major consequence of a domestic-violence conviction is losing your right, under federal law, to own firearms and ammunition. This speaks nothing to the effects of having a conviction on your record, which will often come up when applying for jobs.
If you are facing the very serious charge of domestic violence assault, you need an attorney who will relentlessly defend you in and out of court. Call The Maine Criminal Defense Group today for a pre-consultation at 207-571-8146 or 207-602-1675.
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