Maine Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence occurs when an offender assaults a family or household member. In Maine, domestic violence is called "domestic violence assault" and can only occur between:

  • Spouses (current or former)
  • Domestic partners (current or former)
  • Individuals presently or formerly living together
  • Natural parents of the same child
  • Adult household members related by blood
  • Minor children living in the same house as the adult offender, or
  • Individuals who are or were sexual partners

The table below provides a brief overview of Maine's domestic violence law.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statutes 17-A section 207-A: Domestic Violence Assault
What's Prohibited?

Assaulting a family or household member.

What's "Assault?"

 

A person is guilty of assault if:
  • The person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person, or
  • The person is at least 18 years old and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, causes bodily injury to another person who is less than six years old

Penalties

Domestic violence assault is generally a Class D crime that is punishable by up to 364 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

However, domestic violence assault is a Class C crime and is punishable by up to five years in jail, and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if at the time of the offense the offender has one or more prior convictions for:

  • Domestic violence assault (or conviction(s) for substantially similar conduct)
  • Violating a protective order (or conviction(s) for substantially similar conduct), or
  • Violating bail conditions for an incident where the alleged victim was a family or household member

Related Domestic Violence Crimes

Domestic violence criminal threatening (section 209-A): Intentionally or knowingly placing a family or household member in fear of imminent bodily injury.

Domestic violence terrorizing (section 210-B): Communicating to a family or household member a threat to commit a crime of violence dangerous to human life, against the person to whom the communication is made or against another, whether or not the threat is in fact carried out.

Domestic violence stalking (section 210-C): Intentionally or knowingly engaging in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Suffer serious inconvenience or emotional distress
  • Fear death or to fear the death of a close relation
  • Fear damage or destruction to or tampering with property, or
  • Fear injury to or the death of an animal owned by or in the possession and control of that specific person

Domestic violence reckless conduct (section 211-A): Recklessly creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to a family or household member.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Maine's domestic violence laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

If you are a domestic violence survivor there is help available to you. During an emergency dial 911 and when you're safe contact the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.