At the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, we have over 40+ years of experience providing criminal defense and handling civil litigation charges. Over the years, we have learned that certain assault charges are without merit and that false accusations run rampant in the court system. There are several layers of complexity when fighting an assault charge, yet our team is well equipped to deal with them. While there are serious assault cases and credible plaintiffs, many are driven by emotional issues which result in trumped up charges. Yet even untruthful or groundless accusations may have a disastrous impact on one’s ability to maintain his or her life and freedom. Thus assault allegations, which carry serious penalties including jail time or fines, require experienced legal representation.
In other words, whether innocent or guilty of assault, it is critical to contact professional lawyers for legal advice about one’s case. The goal of every competent defense attorney is assisting in plea negotiations when appropriate, defending innocent clients, and effectively communicating a client’s interests to prosecutors and judges in the courtroom.
What are the assault statutes in Maine? How is the crime of assault defined? What does it mean to assault someone?
Title 17-A Section 207 is the assault statute in our state. The codified legal statues are the laws outlining what constitutes a crime and how its punishable.
Assault is defined as (according to the state of Maine, as found here in the Maine Criminal Code):
1. A person is guilty of assault if:
A. The person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime which is a misdemeanor.
B. The person has attained at least 18 years of age and intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person who is less than 6 years of age. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime which is a felony.
What constitutes assault?
Generally speaking, an assault occurs when someone intentionally causes injurious or offensive physical contact to another individual. Despite the fact that that unintentional conduct is sometimes charged as an assault, such conduct, unless recklessly committed, is not legally criminal assault. Most assault cases involve bodily harm, but people have filed suits if someone merely brushes against them or lightly taps them. However, the plaintiff or the victim in a criminal case doesn’t have to experience bodily harm, he or she need only be legitimately offended . Dramatizing an experience as assault frequently takes place because of this legal gray area.
Assault charges often arise if there is a physical altercation. We can provide counsel and advice regardless of your situation and advise you accordingly. As mentioned above, minor gestures or disagreements grossly exaggerated must not ruin your life and we will fight vigorously to prevent such an outcome.
What is the difference between Class C and Class D assault charges?
The main difference in these two classes of assault charges is that a Class C charge involves a minor victim, is a felony and carries more severe penalties. A Class C felony carries a maximum sentence of five years. A sentence of nine months or less may be served in county jail; a sentence greater than 9 months must be served in a state prison. The maximum term of probation is two years and the maximum fine is $5000
Class D assaults, sometimes referred to as simple assaults, are misdemeanors and carry less serious punishment than Class C crimes. They carry maximum jail time of one year, one year of probation in some cases, and a maximum fine of $2000.
How can we help?
Contact us today to learn about your rights. Involvement in the criminal justice system may have dire consequences including disrupting your life, the life of your family, and your ability to make a living. We want to prevent such consequences to ensure our clients can maintain the quality of life they deserve.