Maine Legal Group Logo
Main Office
Satellite Office
Consultations by Appointment Only

Is There a Connection Between Domestic Violence, Juvenile Offenses, and Child Abuse ?

Is There a Connection Between Domestic Violence, Juvenile Offenses, and Child Abuse in Maine?

An interesting statistic about domestic violence is coming out of a town in Illinois, as it tracks the sources of juvenile offenses.

Illinois Police Department See a Connection Between Domestic Violence and Juvenile Offenses

Rockford, Illinois, is a city along the border of Illinois and Wisconsin – northwest of Chicago and south of Madison, Wisconsin. It has a population of around 150,000, making it more than twice the size of Portland, Maine, but like most Midwest cities, it is far more spread out.

Police in Rockford have been struck with a surge in juvenile crimes in the past few years. In 2018, there were 32 juvenile arrests. With November and December still to go in 2019, that number has already been passed.

According to police who have looked at the histories of the young adults who have been arrested, one of the consistent narratives has been that they had abusive home lives. Three out of every four of the teens arrested for a violent crime in 2019 had a documented past of witnessing or suffering from domestic abuse from parents or an adult family member.

Maine Domestic Violence Law Includes Child Abuse

In Maine, a crime of domestic violence is a criminal offense – like assaultstalking, or terrorizing – that is committed against the categories of people listed in Maine Statute 19-A § 4002(4). Included in those groups of people are “minor children of a household member when the defendant is an adult household member.”

Under this statute, crimes committed by adults against children they live with – whether or not they are related – fall under the realm of domestic violence.

Child Abuse Can Lead to Another Investigation by the OCFS

The same course of conduct, though, can lead to multiple investigations in Maine. Domestic violence against a child is one of them. Not only can it lead to criminal charges for domestic violence, but it can also amount to child abuse. If it does, the child abuse can be pursued separately under Maine’s Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act.

Child abuse is usually investigated by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) rather than the local district attorney’s office. While this means the sanctions are lower – DHHS can’t put people in jail, for example – it also means that your rights as a criminal defendant are not triggered.

While the repercussions are less severe than they would be, if it were a criminal investigation, a DHHS investigation for child abuse is far from trivial. You can lose custody and could even have your parental rights completely terminated.

Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group

The criminal defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group help defend people in Maine who have been accused of domestic violence. These allegations can lead to DHHS investigations that can implicate your parental rights, especially when the alleged victim of the abuse is a child.

Contact us online or call our law office at (207) 571-8146 if you have been accused of domestic violence in Portland, Saco, or Biddeford.


Contact our office to speak with
one of our team members who will set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case.


Great group of people. Managed to get me a favorable outcome from a very bad situation. I would highly recommend this firm if you have legal troubles. Top notch performance!!

Dave Allen

So thankful I chose this team to represent me. They’re the best, hands down. Nathan Hitchcock proved my innocence not once but TWICE, including a trial by jury. I have a family in law enforcement who told me “Bill Bly and his team are the best. If I would recommend anyone, it would be them.”

Brandon Albert





Ready to Get Started? Get In Touch With Us Today!

If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Get to Know Our Group
Maine Legal Group

We are a boutique law firm, and we stand out by prioritizing our clients’ well-being. At The Maine Legal Group, our experienced team offers personalized attention in both criminal defense and divorce cases.

The Maine Criminal Defense Group

The Maine Criminal Defense Group adeptly handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including experienced and skilled legal representation for state and federal charges.

The Maine Divorce Group

The Maine Divorce Group empowers individuals skillfully navigating divorce with compassionate guidance, ensuring a brighter future through the challenges of the process.