Some criminal charges can become allegations of domestic violence if they are done to certain groups of people, like spouses, children, partners, exes, and roommates. Not all offenses, though, will be considered as domestic violence just because they are done to the latter. Offenses like manslaughter or murder are not forms of domestic violence even when the victim qualifies.
Some people are surprised by this aspect of Maine’s domestic violence law. In their eyes, murder and manslaughter are the most severe crimes on the books and can be committed against family members, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t lead to domestic violence charges.
Here’s why the law has it right.
In theory, at least, everything in criminal law has a purpose.
When it comes to domestic violence law, some of the additional penalties and consequences that are on the table for a conviction are designed to provide additional protection for the victim. Stripping someone of the right to bear arms is not just an arbitrary decision to inflict as much pain and punishment as possible – it’s designed to protect the victim of the domestic violence by making it illegal for their abuser to carry a weapon that could quickly and irreparably change his or her life for the worse.
Family or household members who have been the victims of murder or manslaughter or any other criminal offense that involves a fatality do not need to be protected from further domestic violence because they are now deceased.
The overarching goal of the additional penalties levied against people convicted of a crime of domestic violence are no longer relevant. Forcing someone to go to a mandatory rehabilitation class no longer protects someone else from further violence.
Without a reason to levy these penalties against someone convicted of murdering or unintentionally killing a family or household member, the additional penalties no longer make sense. Not only do they not make sense, but they are also irrelevant because the penalties for crimes like murder or manslaughter either include some of the same domestic violence penalties or are more significant than them.
The criminal defense team at Maine Criminal Defense Group strives to represent people who have been accused of domestic violence in the state of Maine. These allegations are serious and require defense tactics that are both strong and tactful to preserve your future and your freedom.
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
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