Attleboro Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?
Domestic violence consists of physical harm, threats of imminent physical harm, causing the victim to fear for his or her safety or the safety of children, and/or unwanted sexual relations by an intimate partner. Anyone who commits an act of domestic assault or assault and battery will be subject to Massachusetts’ harsh penalties. A first offense is punishable by up totwo and half years in a correctional facility and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses may be punished by up to five years in prison.
These crimes involve the following individuals:
- Spouses and ex-spouses
- Partners living together or who formerly lived together
- Unmarried couples who have children together
- Dating partners or former dating partners
- People related by blood or marriage
Additionally, you may be ordered to complete a batterer’s program and you may be subject to a restraining order. Restraining orders will prohibit you from any contact with the alleged victim. You may lose your home, access to your children, and other rights from such an order. Violating a restraining order is also a criminal offense.
Types of Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Massachusetts can be potentially harmful to your reputation. You may find it difficult to remain employed at your current position or have trouble obtaining employment altogether. You may also experience a negative reaction from your community if you are convicted of domestic violence.
Fortunately, our legal system provides each criminal defendant opportunities to challenge the evidence that the prosecution is presenting against them. If you are currently facing domestic violence charges, then there are several defenses that may work to your advantage.
Typically, a wrong person defense works on the proposition that the police have misidentified you as the defendant in a domestic violence case. Perhaps the best way to prove that another person committed your alleged acts of domestic violence is to provide prosecutors with an alibi. A solid alibi will prove that you were at a different location at the time the alleged crime happened, and therefore, you could not have been a person who actually committed those acts.
Another good defense against domestic violence charges is to show that the alleged victim has deliberately deceived police in an effort to cause trouble for you. This actually occurs sometimes in divorce cases where child custody matters are in dispute. A spouse who feels a decision is unfair may resort to hurling false accusations in an attempt to improve his or her legal situation. One of the best methods to employ as a defense against such actions is to point out the accuser's inconsistencies. For example, statements reflected in a police report may not necessarily match your accuser's statements later in court.
Self-defense is also another tactic you may consider in your defense against domestic violence charges. You may have been attempting to protect your children when you repelled an assault from your significant other. You may have also been fearful of a spouse who unexpectedly showed up unannounced at your home in the early hours of the night. Your Attleboro domestic violence attorney might argue that any reasonable person might have perceived such actions as an imminent threat.
Massachusetts Domestic Violence Laws & Penalties
According to Massachusetts’ law, domestic violence is defined as any physical harm, attempt to cause physical harm, threats of imminent danger, or nonconsensual sexual acts between family and household members. Family and household members include current and former spouses and romantic partners, relatives by blood or marriage, or even current or former roommates.
State police officers are required to make an arrest if there is probable cause that someone committed either a misdemeanor related to domestic abuse, any felony, or assault and battery. Additionally, if a person violated a protective order (or restraining order), law enforcement officials must make an arrest.
Assault and assault and battery related to domestic violence carries a maximum jail term two-and-a-half years and a fine no more than $1,000. However, assault and battery by someone under a protective order is punishable by a prison term of up to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Violating a protective order can also result in a maximum jail term two-and-a-half years and a fine no more than $1,000. Stalking carries a prison term of up to five years and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Brian D. Roman, Attorney at Law Domestic Abuse Legal Counsel
Domestic violence crimes can lead to harsh sentences that change your life in many ways. If you are facing a charge for domestic abuse, it is vitally important to hire an experienced Attleboro domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. The state of Massachusetts takes these incidents very seriously, as do law enforcement and prosecutors. You need someone in your corner whose sole aim is to pursue what is in your best interests and who will fight hard to help you seek a favorable outcome.
When you choose Brian D. Roman, Attorney at Law, you can work with a former prosecutor who thoroughly understands how these cases are put together and can use his years of defense experience on your behalf. Our firm understands how mistakes, exaggerations, falsehoods, and highly charged emotions can play a part in domestic violence allegations. Let us thoroughly investigation your case to determine the real facts behind any accusations.
Our Attleboro domestic violence attorney has a strong track record when it comes to criminal defense. In the face of domestic abuse accusations, you cannot afford to move forward without an experienced and proven legal professional. To get started, you can discuss your case with Attorney Roman to learn more about your case, what to expect during the proceedings, and how we can defend you.
Schedule your case review with our Attleboro domestic violence lawyer at (508) 576-5922 today.