Maine Violent Crime Defense Attorney
Serving the Portland, Bangor Augusta, Saco and Biddeford Areas
Classification of Crimes
When you are charged with a violent crime, there is a lot of information that you should be aware of. For example, Maine no longer charges criminal offenses as misdemeanors or felonies; rather, crimes fall under different classes, based on the particular offense and the offender's criminal history. In order to make sure that you understand all of the necessary information regarding your charges, it is essential that you call a Maine defense attorney at the Law Office of William T. Bly as soon as you are charged with a violent crime. There are 5 classes of criminal charges and they include the following:
- Class A: Most serious types of crimes in the state, punishable by incarceration up to 30 years and fines up to $50,000
- Class B: Punishable by incarceration up to 10 years and fines up to $20,000
- Class C: Punishable by incarceration up to 5 years and fines up to $5,000
- Class D: Punishable by incarceration up to 364 days and fines up to $2,000
- Class E: Least serious crimes in the state, punishable by incarceration up to 6 months and fines up to $1,000
Class A charges cover the most serious crimes like felony murder and manslaughter. Class B crimes are also some of the worst offenses like aggravated assault. Class C offenses include crimes like assault of a minor. Reckless conduct and stalking are both examples of common Class D crimes. All of these offenses are examples of violent crimes and can result in the penalties listed above.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Maine
Types of Violent Crimes in Maine
Reckless Conduct Generic offense defined as conduct through which a person recklessly puts others in the risk of serious bodily injury. The crime is a Class D offense, but the charges could be increased if a motor vehicle was involved in the offense.
Stalking An offender could be charged with stalking if they intentionally or knowingly act in such a way toward a specific person that they feel distressed and have reason to fear for their life and safety, or the lives and safety of close relations. A course of conduct must be demonstrated by the prosecuting attorney as one of the elements of the crime. Stalking is a Class D offense.
Terrorizing This offense could be charged if the offender communicates to another person a threat to commit or to cause to be committed a violent crime that is dangerous to human life, against that individual or another, in order to place them in reasonable fear for their life or safety. Terrorizing is a Class D offense.
Criminal Threatening Criminal threatening involves intentionally or knowingly placing a person in fear of imminent bodily injury and is often charged with other crimes, such as assault. Criminal threatening is a Class D offense.
Assault This crime can be charged if the offender knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally caused bodily harm or offensive physical contact to someone else. If the crime does not result in serious injury, it could be charged as a Class D offense. If it is charged as aggravated assault, the offender could face incarceration up to 10 years and fines up to $10,000.
Aggravated Assault When an assault occurs that involves the use of a weapon, serious injury or any other tactic the shows the offender has little disregard for the victim's life, it is consider aggravated assault. This crime is a Class B felony and can lead to up to 10 years in jail.
Manslaughter Manslaughter is charged when the offender causes the death of another through recklessness or criminal negligence. Manslaughter convictions are treated very harshly and are Class A offenses.
Murder This offense is charged when the offender knowingly or intentionally causes the death of another person. Maine does not impose the death penalty, and an offender convicted of murder faces incarceration of 25 years to life.
Domestic Violent Crimes in Maine
When any of the violent crimes listed above occur in a domestic setting between spouses, family members or two or more people who share an intimate relationship, they are considered domestic violence. Domestic violence offenses often carry steeper penalties and can also result in protective orders being filed. Crimes like domestic violence assault are ruled similar to simple assault but criminal histories are more closely examined. Any evidence of past violence or domestic disputes will increase the charge from a Class D to a Class C crime. Violence against minors will also lead to more serious charges. Other domestic violence charges include stalking, terrorizing and reckless conduct.