Domestic Violence Laws in Maine

Have You Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence laws in Maine cover a broad range of offenses that often involve civil courts in addition to criminal court prosecution. Many offenses are crimes of intent that can be difficult to prove or disprove. You will need the expertise of a Maine defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible if you have been falsely accused of a domestic abuse crime.

Hartley Law Works Exclusively for the Defense Side. Call Attorney Richard Hartley Now for a Free case review: (207) 941-0999.

Domestic Violence Laws in Maine

Domestic violence laws cover unlawful actions or behaviors toward a family member, a dating partner or anyone you live with. Specific offenses are listed below. Domestic abuse includes causing bodily injury, causing fear of bodily injury and/or causing emotional harm.

Unfortunately, Maine has a high rate of domestic violence crimes. Unless the accused enlists the help of an established defense attorney at the outset, prosecutors and judges will likely take a hard line with any type of domestic violence case.

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Domestic Assault Charges

What is domestic assault?

Domestic violence assault is defined as intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact to a family or household member, or dating partner.

Slapping, punching, grabbing, shoving, spitting on or throwing a drink on a family member or partner are all examples of domestic assault.

A domestic violence assault is usually a Class D misdemeanor when the accused has no prior domestic violence history. If convicted, the offender faces:

  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • 2 years of probation
  • Completion of the Certified Batterers’ Intervention Program. The Program must be successfully completed and paid for by the probationer at a cost of around $1,200.

Domestic assault can be elevated to a Class C felony if you have any prior domestic violence convictions, including a conviction for violating a protection order or for violating No Contact conditions of bail.

Other domestic abuse offenses include:

  • Domestic Criminal Threatening
    Intentionally putting a domestic member in fear of imminent bodily injury.
  • Domestic Terrorizing
    Communicating believable acts of violence dangerous to human life to a domestic member.
  • Domestic Stalking
    Action/s toward a domestic member causing emotional distress or fear.
  • Domestic Criminal Mischief
    Tampering with or causing damage to a domestic member’s property.
  • Domestic Reckless Conduct
    Recklessly creating a significant risk of serious bodily injury to a domestic member.
  • Sexual Assault Offenses
    Unlawful Sexual Contact and Date rape charges.

Protection From Abuse – Restraining Orders Defense

If you have been wrongly accused of abuse, you may have been blindsided by service of a temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) order and notice of abuse allegations against you.

You have the right to contest this temporary order through a hearing and to be represented by an attorney of your choosing at this and all hearings throughout the process. It is vital to understand that:

  • All restraining order hearings are trials in a civil court.
  • You have been sued by your estranged partner or family member. In a protection lawsuit, the filer requesting relief is the plaintiff. You are the defendant.
  • If a PFA complaint is filed immediately after a domestic assault arrest, you will need a defense lawyer to defend you in criminal court and in civil court.
  • Almost anything the court deems reasonable can be granted as relief. Protection relief includes court-ordered restrictions on your behavior for up to 2 years.
  • If you do not show up at the initial hearing, a permanent PFA can be granted by default.

If you challenge the lawsuit, the court will look at each side’s evidence and testimony to determine whether the protection order should stand (plaintiff prevails), or be dissolved (you prevail). Your defense attorney can interview any witnesses and help you identify other evidence that demonstrates your innocence.

Important: A consent order is a Protection From Abuse order. Your waiving of a full hearing on the complaint is an agreement (consent) to have a judgment entered against you. Furthermore, state and federal laws still treat the consent order as a domestic restraining order in most cases. Act quickly to take back your rights by calling Hartley Law today.

The temporary PFA restricts your freedoms and orders you to stay away from the plaintiff and your residence if you lived together. You will also be ordered to turn in any and all firearms and dangerous weapons in your possession.

An aggressive trial defense attorney can represent you at all PFA hearings to give you the best chance of winning a dismissal so your life can return to normal. However, you need to move fast so your lawyer can gather the evidence and file for the hearing on time.

Contact a Domestic Assault Defense Attorney

A growing number of districts in Maine are implementing programs that train special prosecutors for domestic violence offenses. You should seek the help of a criminal defense specialist to counter their efforts and aggressively defend you against prosecution.

It is easy to lose your civil liberties and land in jail for violating a protection order. You can be arrested and charged with the misdemeanor crime of violating the no-contact orders of the PFA just by asking someone else to talk to the protected person on your behalf.

Consult with an experienced defense specialist before you head to a Protection From Abuse hearing. As a qualified specialist, I can bring a unique set of skills to these proceedings that family lawyers may not possess.

I can also put forth strong defenses to all domestic violence criminal charges and can fully defend you up through a jury or bench trial if necessary.

Call my law office for a free consultation to help you determine if we should work together to defend your rights and personal freedoms: (207) 941-0999