Domestic Violence Lawyers in Maine
Defining Types of Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence is most commonly used as a way to describe spousal abuse, but what some may not realize is that domestic violence is defined broadly and is used to describe any type of abusive behavior that is committed by one member of a household against another. This could include members of a family, an intimate relationship-marriage, dating relationship, etc.-or cohabitating members of a household.
This type of violence has many names, including domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, battering, and/or intimate partner violence, but they are all used to define the same type of behavior. Domestic violence does not only include instances of physical abuse, however. This type of offense includes all areas of abusive behavior, including physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, and economic abuse.
Most Common Types of Domestic Abuse
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse between two members of a household can include any kind of contact that is carried out with the intention of inflicting bodily harm, intimidating the other, or causing pain. This includes instances of hitting, punching, choking, burning, pushing, slapping, etc. Other, more indirect, forms of physical abuse could also include depriving another of sleep or medical care-or anything else that is necessary to their livelihood-and/or forcing another to engage in drug or alcohol use.
Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse between two domestic partners includes forcing upon the other any unwanted sexual contact. Even if both parties are spouses and have previously engaged in consensual sex, if one partner is being coerced against their will, this could be considered marital rape. The scope of this offense includes any intimidating and/or physically forceful behavior used to engage in an unwanted sexual act, or the act of knowingly taking advantage of an individual unable to understand or deny participation-due to mental disability, illness, or age.
Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse, also referred to as psychological abuse, includes any behavior that is used control, intimidate, embarrass, and/or degrade another. This could take form in humiliating the other person publicly, isolating them from friends or family, blackmailing them, or purposefully degrading them with insults and criticism. This type of behavior is often done with the intention of taking away another person's control and creating insecurity. A Maine criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the charges you face.
Verbal Abuse: Verbal abuse is any type of abuse that is done purely through the use of hurtful, degrading, and/or threatening language. It causes the same kind of trauma as emotional abuse, as it is used to disrespect another and undermine their self-esteem. It can lead to severe depression in the victim through manipulation and emotionally abusive behavior, and is ultimately used as a means of gaining control and feeling powerful or superior.
Economic Abuse: Economic abuse is something that no one usually considers when thinking about instances of abusive behavior. It is, however, more common than most would think. Economic abuse is any instance where one member of a household withholds, exploits, or limits the other person's access to economic resources-including monetary assets and/or the ability to further gain resources. This could be carried out through monitoring the other person's use of money, mandating an allowance, or preventing them from spending money.
Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer
Penalties of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In the state of Maine, if convicted of domestic abuse, an individual will be put under probation and be required to enroll in a rehabilitative course. It is also likely that they will be removed from their home and be prohibited from contacting the victim. If the abused party files a protective order, any violation of this order will result in severe consequences as well. If a court orders a Protection from Abuse Order, this would prohibit any contact and/or further instances of abuse. If an individual violates the no-contact restrictions, they will be held charged with a class D misdemeanor offense. If an individual further abuses the protected party, they will be in violation of a class C felony, and punished accordingly.