Domestic violence is a general label for crimes of abuse committed on family or household members. These crimes can vary in nature but all are taken extremely seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. When called to the scene of a domestic disturbance in Massachusetts, police officers are required to make an arrest of whomever they believe to be the aggressor. This is often done without evidence and only based on accusations that may or may not be true. Because of this and the aggressive nature in which the charges are prosecuted, domestic violence cases are complex matters. It is essential to have the representation of a competent criminal defense lawyer when charged with any domestic violence offense.
You can work with a proven trial lawyer who exclusively practices criminal defense when you retain the services of Harrison Barrow, Attorney at Law, P.C. At our firm, you will receive the personalized attention you deserve as we investigate your case, develop a defense strategy, and prepare your case for trial. Through intensive trial preparation, we can put you in the strongest legal position possible as we seek an optimum outcome.
Threat to Commit a Crime Case Dismissed
Operating Under the Influence Penalty Reduced
Assault and Battery Case Dismissed
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Domestic violence is defined under Massachusetts law as:
- “Attempting to cause or causing physical harm”
- “Placing another in fear of serious physical harm”
- “Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress”
These are offenses committed against current or former spouses, individuals living together in the same household, those related by marriage or blood, parents who share a child regardless of marital status, individuals who are engaged, and dating partners.
The various crimes that fall under the domestic violence label include assault, assault and battery, sexual assault, stalking, strangulation, and any action that falls under the definitions of abuse stated above. These offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances.
A first offense is charged as a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to two and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses can result in felony charges punishable by prison sentences of up to five years. These penalties can be increased if a dangerous weapon was used in the incident, if serious bodily injury was inflicted upon the alleged victim, or if a restraining order was violated.
Restraining orders issued by the courts are common in domestic violence cases. These orders, also called no-contact orders, prohibit you from making any contact with the protected person, remove you from a shared residence, and can put into effect other rules and restrictions that must be followed. These orders can affect your child custody and visitation rights, and force you to pay child and/or spousal support, restitution, and attorney fees for the protected person. Violating a restraining order constitutes another crime.
Courts do not offer leniency in domestic violence cases. Whether you have been charged based on falsehoods, exaggerations, or an actual offense, you can expect to be aggressively prosecuted with harsh penalties as the result. Domestic violence cases call for an experienced defender who will do everything possible on your behalf to reach the best outcome. You can depend on Harrison Barrow, Attorney at Law, P.C. to give you a dedicated effort from start to finish.