Domestic Assault and Battery is the same as Domestic Violence in Massachusetts. It is a very serious criminal charge. Anyone charged with domestic abuse should immediately speak with a Massachusetts Domestic Violence Attorney.
Every police department in Massachusetts applies a zero-tolerance policy toward domestic violence. In fact, Massachusetts General Law c209A, § 6(7) authorizes police officers to make an arrest in a domestic violence investigation.
Just being charged with a domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts can have serious consequences. Many prosecutors in Massachusetts are specially trained in handling domestic violence cases. Some courts even have specialty courts solely devoted to domestic violence cases.
Penalties for a domestic violence conviction include jail, probation, mandatory classes like a certified batters program or anger management, and fines. Also, anyone convicted of a domestic violence charge may lose the right to own a firearm.
What is Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?
Domestic violence applies when someone alleges violence that is in a substantial dating relationship, are family members, or roommates that live together. Domestic violence cases are treated differently than other crimes. For example, in cases of domestic abuse police officers are permitted to make an arrest even if they did not see the abuse firsthand. In cases that are not domestic violence police officers in Massachusetts are not allowed to make an arrest.
Anyone arrested for Domestic Violence cannot be released from police custody for at least 6-hours. It is a required cooling-off period. No other crimes have such a cooling-off period.
What Are Domestic Violence Crimes?
Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member is domestic violence in Massachusetts.
- Violation of a Restraining Order
- Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member
- Assault and Battery on Person Protected by an Abuse Prevention Order
- Aggravated Assault and Battery
- Assault and Battery
- Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
- Kidnapping/ Unlawful Restraint
- Intimidation of a Witness
- Malicious Destruction of Property
- Criminal Harassment
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery?
The penalties for domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts are some of the strictest in the country. First, unlike in non-domestic violence situations, judges may impose pre-trial conditions on a person without their consent. That means a judge can order that some stay away and have no contact with the alleged victim while the case is ongoing.
People convicted of domestic violence will have the conviction noted on their criminal records. That can make it almost impossible to get or keep a job, housing, or even education opportunities in the future. That is in addition to possible jail time. The penalty for assault and battery in Massachusetts is two years in the House of Correction.
Probation is another typical outcome of a domestic violence case in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts probation can be for any amount of time the judge sets. While on probation in Massachusetts a person must pay a monthly fee. Also, they must report to a probation officer as requested, and not leave the state of Massachusetts without permission.
What is a Certified Batterers Program?
A Massachusetts Certified Batterers Program is a very intense program. Also, it is certified and monitored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The program is specific to people involved in domestic violence. A batterer is a male or female-only group of not more than fifteen people. It consists of at least 40 weekly sessions of 1-2 hours a time along with individual counseling.
Also, the Massachusetts Department of Health certified batterers programs may charge up to $3500 per class. Also, it maintains a database of all people that attend the program. People who fail to complete the program may have their probation revoked and could go to jail. Certain convictions or continuation without a finding require a certified batters program.
What is an Anger Management Program?
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health does not regulate anger management classes. Also, anger management classes are not specific to domestic violence. Anger management classes are typically only 8-10 sessions. Anger management classes do not contact or work with the victim. These classes cost only a fraction of the certified batterers program and there is no statewide database.
How to Defend a Domestic Assault and Battery Case in Massachusetts?
A Massachusetts criminal lawyer experienced in domestic violence cases can immediately help. Also, a Massachusetts domestic violence lawyer can help you through the entire process and help you develop the best defense for a Massachusetts domestic violence charge. A domestic violence attorney can help you get evidence for a case including all police reports, state agency reports, copies of police tapes, and 911 tapes. A Massachusetts criminal attorney can help you by putting together the best defense for your domestic violence case.
A domestic violence lawyer can explain all of your defenses. Examples of defenses are self-defense or defense of others. An attorney can help you with any rights you or your spouse may have. A spouse never has to testify against another spouse in a criminal case. In some cases, an attorney can help you decide if applying for criminal charges against the victim can help your case.
Does My Spouse Have to Testify Against Me?
Never. A spouse has a constitutional right to refuse to testify against another spouse. Even if your spouse tells the police he or she does not want to press charges police must make an arrest.
Why Do Police Only Arrest One Person For Domestic Violence?
Police officers conduct an investigation of every domestic abuse allegation. They speak to the parties separately and interview any witnesses. Also, police officers should not arrest both parties. This applies even if they believe both parties were abusing one another. According to the Massachusetts Guidelines on Domestic Abuse, dual arrests trivialize the situation. It may increase the chances of further abuse. In these cases police determine who the “dominant aggressor” was and arrest that person. When police officers believe there is probable cause that an assault happened they can make an arrest. They do not consider whether the victim will testify at a later date.
How Much a Does a Domestic Violence Attorney Cost?
Typically all fees for domestic violence cases are flat fees. A flat fee is a set total price. It means that all phone calls, meetings, and even court hearings are included in the price. It is impossible to set a price for a case without reviewing the unique facts of the case. However, clients are typically surprised to find the fees affordable.
Massachusetts Domestic Violence and Mandatory Reporting
Police officers are required by Massachusetts law to file a report with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families every time a police officer believes that a child under 18 has been abused or neglected. This report is called a 51a report. The alleged victim should be notified that police are filing the report.
When a disabled person has been neglected or abused by a caretaker, police must file a report with the Disabled Persons Protection Commission.
In cases where an elderly person has been allegedly abused police must file a report with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
MASSACHUSETTS DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY ATTORNEY PATRICK DONOVAN
The Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan defends people accused of domestic violence in Massachusetts. Patrick Donovan has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts.
As an Assistant District Attorney, Patrick Donovan is well aware of the many legal strategies both law enforcement and district attorneys will use when trying to obtain a domestic violence conviction. Mr. Donovan uses his prior knowledge as a prosecutor to his client’s advantage by challenging evidence submitted by state attorneys, investigating faulty law enforcement procedures, and ultimately providing the best criminal defense for every single one of his clients.
Call the Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan today for your free consultation at 617 479-1800.
Best Massachusetts Domestic Violence Attorney
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