Maine Domestic Violence Lawyers
Representing Clients in Portland, Augusta, Saco, Bangor, and Biddeford
Defining Types of Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence is most commonly used as a way to describe spousal abuse, which may take the form of physical abuse or verbal and emotional 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. In Maine, this includes 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 and verbal abuse in the forms of threats to commit violence. It also includes crimes committed against a domestic partner's pet for the purpose of controlling the "victim" and/or intimidating the victim as well as to cause the victim emotional distress over the animal and to frighten that person.
Most Common Types of Domestic Violence
Physical Violence: 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, causing pain or offensive physical contact. This includes instances of hitting, punching, choking, burning, pushing, slapping, etc. Other, less damaging but still serious forms of physical abuse, includes spitting on someone, throwing food or a drink in your partner's face and/or other humiliating forms of contact that the person would find offensive.
Sexual Violence: 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. Normally, marital rape is charged as a felony as it is Gross Sexual Assault.
Verbal Violence: Verbal abuse normally takes the form of Criminal Threatening or Terrorizing and includes language or behavior where the person is placed in fear that a threat to commit violence will be carried out. These types of allegations are traditionally the most difficult forms of Domestic Violence to prove and a good Maine criminal defense attorney can craft solid defenses in the face of these allegations.
Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer
Penalties of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In the state of Maine, if convicted of any crime of Domestic Violence, 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 charged with a class D misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $2,000.00. If an individual chooses to violate the PFA again or is charged with another crime of domestic violence, they will be facing a class C felony, and punished accordingly. Under Maine law, a class C felony carries the possibility of up to 5 years in state prison, a fine of $5,000.00 and 3 years of probation.
If you're convicted of a crime of Domestic Violence Assault or Domestic Violence Criminal Threatening, you'll be federally prohibited from ever owning, using or possessing a firearm or ammunition. That means that you'll be unable to hunt with a rifle or go to the range for some target practice. Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person is a serious federal offense that is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
If you want to keep your Right to Bear Arms, fight these charges at all costs and NEVER plead guilty to a crime of Domestic Violence. The penalties are draconian and you'll never hunt or use firearms again. Contact our offices today to see how we can help protect your rights. We serve the state of Maine including the Biddeford, Augusta, Portland and Bangor areas.