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Domestic Violence Criminal Threatening in Maine

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Domestic Violence Criminal Threatening Defense Lawyer

Domestic Violence Criminal Threatening is defined by Title 17-A sect. 209-A of the Maine Revised Annotated Statutes as follows: the defendant places the victim in fear of imminent bodily injury.

So, how does one place a domestic partner in fear of imminent bodily injury?  The fear of imminent bodily injury is normally proven through the victim’s testimony that the defendant used a combination of statements and physical actions to make her believe that the defendant was about to strike, strangle, stab, etc., the victim.  An example would be if the defendant uttered the phrase “I’m going to punch your face in” and then punched the wall right next to his wife’s face.  That type of conduct would absolutely qualify as DV Criminal Threatening.

What if we change the facts a bit? For example, perhaps the defendant calls the “victim” on the phone and says the following: “when I get home tonight, I’m going to whip you with my belt because you’re a bitch and deserve to be treated like a dog.” While the recipient of the call, in the case, the “victim”, may legitimately fear that the threat will be carried out, it does not speak to imminent bodily injury. This type of threatening behavior is actually classified as Terrorizing or Domestic Violence Terrorizing (depending on whom the threat was communicated to).

Penalties

If convicted of a crime of Domestic Violence Terrorizing, you’re facing the following penalties, which apply in all misdemeanor level criminal cases:

  • Fine of up to $2,000.00
  • Maximum jail time of up to 364 days

Because this is a crime of domestic violence, additional penalties that are specific to DV cases may apply as well:

If you’re placed on probation, you’re receiving a split sentence. What that means is that an underlying sentence including a period of jail is being imposed, such as 120 days of jail. However, in most cases, the jail time is either fully or partially suspended. For example, the sentence might read;120 days to the County Jail, all but 48 hours suspended, 2 years probation. That means you have to go to jail for 48 hours and while you’re on probation, you have 118 days of jail time hanging over your head. That way, if you experience compliance problems while on probation, they can fully revoke your probation term and send you to jail for 118 days or they partially revoke your probation and give you a shock sentence of 7 days, with probation to continue. Either way, probation is bad news for most people as many folks have a difficult time successfully completing their term of probation.

Collateral Consequences

As with most crimes of Domestic Violence, a conviction is a lifelong stigma; a Scarlet Letter if you will. You can be denied employment opportunities if convicted of the crime. You can be terminated from your employment for a crime of Domestic Violence. If you’re a member of the military, you’ll receive UCMJ punishment and will likely be drummed out of the service.

If you hold a professional license such as a lawyer, an accountant, a nurse, doctor or pharmacist; you’ll likely have to report the offense to your professional board of overseers. In many cases, you’ll be required to report the mere fact that you’ve been charged with a crime while other professional boards will only require you to inform them of a conviction.

Maine DV Criminal Defense Attorneys

As you can see, there are numerous problems concerning domestic violence convictions. The best way to avoid those problems is to ensure you retain the right criminal defense attorney to fight the charges and secure your future. At the Law Offices of The Maine Criminal Defense Group, our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to fight for you. Contact our offices today to find out how our Maine DV defense lawyers can help you!

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