massachusetts domestic violenceInvolved in a Domestic Violence Dispute in Massachusetts?

Qualified Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense for your case

Facing Domestic Violence Charges

The immediate need of a defense attorney after being arrested for a domestic violence dispute is no simple matter. If you are being charged with domestic violence, this complicated matter can certainly make you feel as if there are no solutions to your situation. In many cases, a domestic violence defendant can face being ordered to leave his or her home; being prohibited to visit or even see his or her children; and can even demand imprisonment. While these are some of the most severe results of being charged with domestic violence, they are nonetheless common results. In many cases, defendants will also run the risk of losing his or her employment. This is particularly true if the defendant works in the justice field or public sector.

If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, an expert attorney can champion for your rights. A criminal defense attorney will see that the charges you are facing fit your crime. Further, he or she will fight to protect your rights and see these rights are upheld and protected.

Domestic Violence

The United States Department of Justice website defines domestic violence as being a recurring behavior which is abusive in a relationship. This abusive behavior is typically caused by one individual on to the other in order to be controlling or gain power over him or her. Domestic violence can take many forms. It can be sexual abuse, or even economic abuse. Domestic violence can also be psychological abuse. Threatening, which negatively influences a victim, can also be considered domestic violence. The most commonly known form of domestic violence is physical, however, in which on partner physically hurts or injures the other. In domestic violence disputes, abusive patterns of behavior can include, but are not limited to:

  • A recurring humiliation of an individual;
  • Purposefully terrorizing or coercing the other individual; and/or
  • Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim.

While domestic violence is most commonly initiated between intimate partners, domestic violence can also be a charge concerning anyone who lives under the same household. For example, domestic violence can happen between parents and children, grandparents, or any other individual who lives in the same property. No relation to the individual is necessary.

What Are The Massachusetts Penalties If You Are Charged?

If you are officially determined guilty in domestic violence charges, Massachusetts penalties range from misdemeanor to felony classification, depending on the severity of the crime, as well as a few other factors (like conviction history for domestic violence crimes) that we covers more deeply below. In general, examples of crimes associated with domestic abuse include assault and battery; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; violating a 209A restraining order; and more. “Abuse” is defined somewhat broadly in Massachusetts law, including attempting to cause or causing physical harm; placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress. These can be applied to a lot of different crimes and crime classifications, so let’s try to break them down according to Massachusetts misdemeanor and felony classes.

In Massachusetts, most misdemeanors do not involve serious bodily injury, or major property damage. Sentencing often depends on the amount of damage done, which is often seen in domestic violence cases, or value of theft, which applies less. Some of the most common examples of misdemeanor violations that might be defined in a domestic violence case include trespassing vandalism.

Most of the time, misdemeanor convictions will result in a fine and probation instead of serving time in jail. However, should a misdemeanor conviction result in jail time, the maximum penalties for a misdemeanor is Massachusetts in two and a half (2 ½) years in a House of Corrections.

In Massachusetts, in the same vein of its broad misdemeanor categorization, felonies are defined as a crime that can be punished by a state prison sentence up to and including life in prison. If the law that a person is charged with breaking includes a possible state prison sentence, it is considered a felony in Massachusetts.

Felony crimes can range from charges of relative less-seriousness, like a third OUI offense, to much more consequential crimes that can be tied to domestic violence such as:

  • Murder.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Rape.
  • Indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
  • Armed entry of dwelling house and assault.
  • Armed robbery with a firearm.

A felony conviction can result in a substantial state prison sentence, and the potential loss of certain privileges and Constitutional rights such as U.S. citizenship.

The primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following:

  • The victim’s relationship to you; for instance, domestic violence against one of your parents, versus domestic violence against a spouse or live-in partner.
  • The nature of the purposeful terrorizing and/or coercing of the other individual; and/or
  • Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim, and to what extent this effected the victim’s daily life.

Facing Wrongful Domestic Violence Accusations

Unfortunately, there are countless situations in which one individual wrongfully accuses his or her partner of committing domestic violence. Aggrieved partners are able to make a simple accusation that will spark an investigation, which can ultimately change a person’s life. When feeling angry or betrayed, a resentful partner can make a wrongful accusation in an attempt to get revenge. Messy divorces or separations can often be a difficult situation to experience and if children are involved, it is common to see false accusations arise due to the attempt to gain sole custody of the children. These types of cases can quickly become very stressful and traumatic. A dangerous battle of hearsay can take a complete hold on your entire life. False accusations can be common and if this is your case, contacting an expert attorney can help overturn your case.

The Repercussions of Being Accused of Domestic Violence

Being charged with domestic violence can be one of the most devastating crimes you can be charged with. If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, it is important that you know that this type of case can affect your employment. It can also affect any future employments and/or promotions. Hiring a qualified attorney who has experience in the matter can greatly benefit your case. An expert attorney will be able to determine if the charges filed against you fit your actions. He or she will also be able to see that your civil rights are being upheld.

If you have been blamed and charged with domestic violence, the implications of such can take an immediate effect on your life. Before you are legally convicted, you can be forced to move out of your home and you can also be prohibited to have contact with your children, if they are underage. Many domestic violence convictions can indicate a denial or severe visiting limitations with your children. In the worst cases, a conviction can implicate a complete loss your child’s custody. In addition to losing parental rights, a domestic violence defendant can be imprisoned, pay fines or post bail, be ordered to enroll in anger management programs, counseling, or even be placed in probation.

Defend Your Case

Being charged with domestic violence can have serious and immediate consequences. Unbeknown to many defendants, investigations can begin immediately without the need of much evidence. It is important that you begin working on your defense case sooner, rather than later. Don’t wait until it becomes harder to prove your case, begin defending your case immediately. Hiring an expert criminal defense attorney can be beneficial to your case. False accusations can happen to anyone, and even if that is not your case, you still have rights that can and should be protected. A qualified attorney should be knowledgeable and experienced in investigating the complications and difficulties of a domestic violence case. A professional attorney will also be sympathetic to the emotional nature of the case. A qualified criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense to your case.