When most people think of domestic violence, they often think about beaten and abused women. However, domestic violence can be more than just a man beating his wife.
So, what is domestic violence?
When a person is a victim of domestic violence, it means that someone in their home has committed violent acts against them. Though most also call it spousal abuse, the truth is that child abuse can also be considered a form of domestic violence.
In Maine, domestic violence is known as domestic violence assault because the violence can occur between multiple people. These include:
- Domestic partners and anyone who has been together sexually (whether they are together or not at the time of the confrontation).
- Parents who have a child (or children together).
- Young children (or anyone under eighteen) who lives with an adult who is abusive.
- Any relatives who live together.
- And basically anyone who is living together.
- So, what is considered domestic violence assault in Maine?
According to Maine Revised Statutes 17-A section 207-A, domestic violence assault occurs in two ways. These include:
- When the person intentionally causes harm or bodily injury to another person. Offensive physical contact may also be considered domestic violence.
- When a person over eighteen causes bodily injury to someone who is under six years old.
Domestic violence may also include:
- Bodily injuries (or the threat of it).
- Forced sexual contact.
- Using force to get someone that you love to do something.
- Making threats.
- Confining someone or restricting their movement, such as tying them up or keeping them against their will.
- Though most people only see physical abuse because they can see the bruises and broken bones, emotional abuse is just as scary for the victim. It is a form of domestic violence.
What are the consequences for domestic violence assault in Maine?
Most of the time, domestic violence assault is considered a Class D crime. This means that you may be looking at spending up to a year in jail and have to pay fines up to two thousand dollars.
However, it can become a Class C crime if you have been convicted of a previous assault, you violated a restraining order, or you violated bail (especially against a member of your family). If you are convicted of a Class C crime, you may spend up to five years in jail and have to pay up to five thousand dollars in fines.
What are some other consequences of domestic violence?
If you are convicted of domestic violence, not only will you be looking at a prison sentence and fine, your entire life is going to change.
- Your relationship will never be the same. If your significant other, spouse, etc. was finally ready to press charges, he or she is probably ready to walk away.
- You may lose custody of your children. If you are a parent, you may lose custody of your children. It will be a battle to get them back if you ever do.
- You may struggle to have another relationship. Your record will follow you around for the rest of your life, and you may not be able to find someone to give you a chance at another relationship. Many men and women will avoid you, simply because of your record.
Why do you need a lawyer?
If you have been arrested for domestic violence assault, you need to hire a lawyer immediately. Even if you think that you can fight it without one, the consequences are too great. Do you really want to face jail time and fines because you didn't hire a lawyer? What about your record? Do you really want it to follow you around for the rest of your life?