Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
About Domestic Abuse
"The one subject that I knew I would have to address sooner or later. Don't get me wrong, I have no use for partners who abuse their significant others, either physically or mentally. However, the laws in 2017 have really changed and for those that don't realize it, the outcome on a Domestic Violence charge could financially change some lives, including yours... if your objective is to forgive and forget. It is difficult to explain Domestic Violence and the charges that go with it, without upsetting some. This subject I have first hand knowledge of and have helped several people understand what it REALLY means, before they changed each other's lives."
"In the old days if you got angry and hit the wall in your house, the Judge told you it was a better decision than hitting your partner. That was then. Now you are charged with being violent and showing an act of aggression. Any act of aggression within your home, no matter where it is directed at, is a form of Domestic Violence. Yelling at one time was a form of expression. Of course it mattered what was said but now a days... that doesn't matter. Yelling also is a form of aggression and is considered a form of Domestic Violence. Yes beating someone, hurting someone or mentally abusing someone is still called Domestic Abuse. In fact, if your charged with Domestic Violence the first thing that usually comes to people's mind is: Domestic Violence is the same as Domestic Abuse. Abuse meaning that you must have beat someone to get charged. But as you now know, it also means yelling or showing aggression by breaking something.
Now, lets add up the fallout of yelling at each other or getting mad enough to kick a shoe across the floor or throw your cell phone against the wall. If the Police are called by either of you, someone will end up going to jail and being charged with Domestic Violence. Being charged for just yelling or destroying your property, even without ever laying hands on each other, will change your lives in at least two ways. If your charged with D/V, keeping your current job or finding a new one will be very difficult. If this was just a fight and your going to resolve it and get back together you should know, the D/V charge will now affect you as well. Especially financially. You should also remember, at the time the person is arrested you'll be asked to write a statement. That statement the Police will give to the D.A. which will help them bring the D/V charges against your partner. That charge cannot be dropped just because someone needed a day to cool off and now wants to get back together. Make sure it's what you really want to happen. Along with the charge comes hundred's in bail money and $25.00 a week for Domestic Violence classes for a full year. Miss a few classes and the Instructor makes you start over. There will also be the fine that is assessed for the D/V as well. The court will only let the bail happen if the promise to stay away from each other is made. See: Bail Commission / Bail Conditions Break that Bail Condition and not only do you forfeit your bail money you also go back to jail. Yes, it can really get this out of hand.
"Not only that but lets say you are lucky enough to be found not guilty and you believe you will get you bail money back after all these months. You do if.... you don't owe the State of Maine for past fines not paid, unemployment overpayments, state taxes or of course child support. So if your found not guilty but owe one of these bills... say goodbye to your hundreds in bail money.Your only recourse is to have someone else bail you out and put their signature on the bail paperwork. They should get the money back if you show up to court"
Taking responsibility for the argument and then asking the same Police officer to ask your partner to find a place to cool down for a night, might be a better idea. If a neighbor has called the Police because you have been loud and neither one of you want the Police involved, explain to them that your both fine and that you are done arguing. They will ask if either one of you are being forced to tell them this. If your answer is no they will then tell you if they have to come back, someone will be arrested. At this point do yourself a favor and settle your differences quietly.
You should also know that if the Police are called, if someone is arrested and if there are children in the house, they send a report to D.H.H. S. telling them that you BOTH have yelled loud enough for the children to hear and that is a form of child abuse. As you can see, a little disagreement can be seen as Domestic Violence and everyone's life can change. D.H.H.S. will want an interview with each of you to determine who should be made to take either parenting classes or Domestic Violence classes. If there has never been a call placed about you to D.H.H. S. before this, I would explain an argument happened with no violence or aggression being mentioned. But know if someone was arrested for a D/V, that will be all D.H.H.S. needs to get involved in both of your lives. They will stay in your lives until they determine that you have done all they have requested from you. Once you have completed everything they request from you,(counseling, classes, Kid First,.. ) they will tell you your case is closed but... there will be a notation made about having to open a case and that information is available to just about any one who requests it. Chances are you will not be interviewed to work around children, from any day care or child care facility.
Now you want to drop everything? - So you have an argument and allow your partner to get arrested and spend the night in jail. Take a break for a night until they get bailed out. It was just an argument and you want your partner back, you just needed a break. You figure you just won't show up as a witness when they have to go to court and it will all get dropped. You'd be wrong. The minute your partner got arrested, they have to hope their employment doesn't hear it was for Domestic Violence. Just being charged, without even being found guilty yet, usually gets you fired in 2017. Most businesses have a non domestic abuse policy. (even sport teams are now doing this) So your partner has to be bailed out for hundreds of dollars, no doubt lost their job, and even though your not going to be a witness, the State will still want a "win". They won't drop the charges but may reduce them. This all takes months to decide. Months that go by while your partner tries to find a new job with a D/V charge pending. I am not making this up to scare you. What I have written is first hand knowledge I gained, from helping others that have gone through it. I hope I have made my point at how the Law is now looking at your arguments, your rants and your disagreements.
If you would like to comment feel free to e-mail me at
My Final Thought...
"As I stated over and over again, this page
is meant to show you all just how quickly
a fight or argument can change things, especially
if the Police get involved. However, Domestic
Violence is no joke and if you are being
abused, you should do all that you need to
do to keep yourself safe. There are still
those who may think the way to handle a disagreement
is to mentally be-little someone or use physical
force. If your being abused please follow
the Protection From Abuse Link, which will show you all you need to do,
to help ensure your safety. Filing a Protection
From Abuse in court will cost you nothing
and usually gets granted quickly. The P.F.A.
papers will ask for all the information on
why you are afraid of the accused. If there
are children involved you can also include
them on the Protection From Abuse form.
Again, my objective above, was to show you how the Law has changed on Domestic Violence and how an argument could change both your lives.Be smart, stay safe"
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