Serving the Areas of Portland, Bangor, Saco, Biddeford and Augusta
In Maine, the most serious criminal offense aside from gross sexual assault, murder or attempted murder is an aggravated assault. An aggravated assault requires that serious bodily injury be inflicted upon the victim. If convicted of an aggravated assault, you're facing up to ten years in prison, a $10,000.00 fine and a term of probation.
According to 17-A, Sect. 208, a person is guilty of aggravated assault under the following conditions:
- If you inflict serious, bodily injury upon the victim; or
- If a weapon was used in the attack against the victim;
- Bodily injury under circumstances demonstrating extreme indifference to human to the value of human life. Examples include the nature and location of the injuries, the manner in which the injuries were inflicted, the observable physical condition of the victim and the use of strangulation in the attack.
The use of strangulation in a case between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend is exceptionally concerning as an allegation of strangulation alone will support a charge of Aggravated Domestic Violence.
Examples of aggravated assault include striking someone with a baseball bat or a tire iron; stabbing someone with a knife; beating someone to the point that they are hospitalized; causing someone serious internal injuries; causing injuries that result in the loss of a body part or loss of the use of a body part; causing injuries that result in having to undergo physical therapy to regain the use of motor functions or a limb.
Defenses to Aggravated Assault
In the case of any crime of violence, sometimes it's not always clear who is truly the victim and who is actually the defendant. "Victim" and "Defendant" are just labels and the placement of those labels are oftentimes arbitrary.
If you're assaulted by another person, you're entitled to defend yourself. Sometimes, you maybe entitled to use deadly force in order to protect yourself and/or another person. Of course, the use of deadly force is only authorized in certain circumstances, such as the following:
- You reasonably believe that the use of deadly force will be used against you, imminently;
- You have no reasonable, safe means of retreat.
You may not use deadly force in the defense of property except in cases of arson.
Another type of defense concerns not the assault itself, but the nature of the injuries. Perhaps there is no claim of defense. Perhaps you are actually in the wrong and were the aggressor in the assault. However, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the injuries do in fact qualify as an aggravated assault. If a jury or judge doesn't believe that the injuries are serious bodily injuries, then the State can't prove your guilt on the felony Aggravated Assault charge.
Remember, the State must always prove each and every element of the crime by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.