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Reputable Assault Attorney in Maine

Assault is a complicated crime. You may think it's just about who struck who first, but it's not. Many factors can be involved in any single case of assault. A charge, nonetheless, is not something to think as minor. You must vigorously defend yourself, but because the offense can be complex, your defense must be smart and consistent.

Having an experienced assault attorney defend you will be key to obtaining the best outcome in your unique circumstances. William H. Ashe is dedicated to criminal defense. He represents his clients with integrity and – after a thorough investigation into the facts and meaningful analysis of the evidence – he will devise a persuasive defense strategy. In assault cases, he understands what you are up against and knows how to strategically apply defenses.

Below is a brief overview of assault charges in Maine. To learn more about these charges and to learn more about your options regarding your own case, contact William H. Ashe today at 207-615-1344.

How is assault defined in Maine?

In Maine, a person is guilty of assault at a basic level if:

The person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person.

This act, by itself, is a Class D misdemeanor offense. There are, however, many different levels of assault in Maine when there are additional circumstances, and these include:

  • assaults on young victims; 
  • prior convictions of assault;
  • aggravating circumstances; and
  • elevated aggravating circumstances.

A summary of the elements making up these offenses is described below.

Simple Assault

Misdemeanor assault is outlined in 17-A §207. A person commits this offense when he or she:

  1. intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
  2. causes to another person
  3. bodily injury or offensive physical contact.

Assault on Young Children

Assault, according to 17-A 207(B), on young children is a felony and occurs when the alleged offender is:

  1. an adult aged 18 years or older, and
  2. intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly 
  3. causes a child under the age of 6 years
  4. bodily injury.

Prior Convictions of Assault

According to 17-A §1252 (4-A), when an alleged offender has two prior convictions of certain related offenses, assault as a third conviction ups the offense from a class D misdemeanor to a class c felony. The prior convictions must have been within the last 10 years to qualify.

The offenses that count as prior convictions are:

Aggravated Assault

Assault becomes aggravated assault, a felony when one of three factors outlined in 17-A §208 is present during the commission of the crime or as a result of it.

1. Serious Bodily Injury

If during an assault a person causes another person to suffer serious bodily injury, the alleged offender can be charged with aggravated assault.

This offense is a Class B felony when the alleged offender causes:

Bodily injury to another that creates a substantial risk of death or extended convalescence necessary for recovery of physical health. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime.

This offense is a Class A felony when the alleged offender causes

Bodily injury to another that causes serious, permanent disfigurement or loss or substantial impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

2. Use of a Dangerous Weapon

Use of a dangerous weapon is defined by 17-A §2(9)(A) to mean:

the use of a firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which, in the manner it is used or threatened to be used is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.

Almost any object can be considered a dangerous weapon if used to threaten and harm another person. For example, the following can be deemed a dangerous weapon:

  • a glass bottle
  • a bat
  • a stick
  • a car.

This aggravating factor results in a Class B crime.

3. Extreme Indifference or Choking

Extreme indifference occurs when a person injures another person "under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life." This aggravating factor includes strangulation, especially in domestic violence cases. This aggravating factor results in a Class B crime.

Elevated Aggravated Assault

Elevated aggravated assault is a Class A felony defined by 17-A §208. It occurs when a person:

A. Intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury to another person with the use of a dangerous weapon;
B. Engages in conduct that manifests a depraved indifference to the value of human life and that in fact causes serious bodily injury to another person with the use of a dangerous weapon; or
With terroristic intent engages in conduct that in fact causes serious bodily injury to another person.

Many of these terms have specific meanings according to the law, and the prosecutor must make arguments based on the statutory meanings. If any element is not present or proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then it will be extremely difficult to get a conviction.

What are the penalties for assault in Maine?

Penalties take on a wide range depending on the circumstances of the assault. The below table provides a basic overview of what to expect if convicted of assault in Maine.

Factors

Classification

Incarceration

Fines

Simple Assault

Class D misdemeanor

up to one year in jail

up to $2,000

Young Victims

Class C felony

up to 5 years in prison

up to $5,000

Two Prior Convictions

Class C felony (enhanced from a Class D misdemeanor)

up to 5 years in prison

up to $5,000

Aggravated: injury, weapon, indifference

Class B felony

up to 10 years in prison

up to $20,000

Elevated Aggravated Assault

Class A felony

up to 30 years in prison

up to 50,000

Are there defenses to a Maine assault charge?

This crime has specific elements and specific meaning to the terms used in each level of assault. The prosecutor must prove each element of the crime charged against you. Will Ashe will admit evidence and argue in a way to challenge the prosecutor's argument, disprove the elements, and create doubt.

Some defense that can specifically be used in assault charges include:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Defense of property
  • Defense of premises.

Even when one of these statutory defenses are not present, as implied above, there are often facts that can be disputed and other facts that are not disputed that justify the conduct and raise doubt that an alleged offender is guilty of assault.

Contact an Aggressive, Strategic Assault Defense Attorney in Maine Today

A charge of assault is serious in Maine. With an assault defense attorney like Will Ashe, you can expect a commitment to challenging the prosecutor's claims against you. Contact the Law Offices of William H. Ashe online or at 207-615-1344 today.

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