If you were to walk into any courthouse in Massachusetts on any given day, you would find many cases in which the defendant is accused of some type of domestic crime. Violence and threats of violence between household members is taken very seriously in Massachusetts. Depending upon the act of domestic abuse alleged, a person who is convicted may face years in prison, hefty court fines, and be ordered to attend an intervention program. If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, contact a lawyer with experience handling domestic violence cases as soon as possible.
Types of Domestic Violence
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines domestic violence as any type of criminal act of abuse that is committed by one member of a family or household directly against another. Domestic abuse charges can be based on physical or sexual abuse, or on threats to commit such acts. Domestic abuse occurs even when there is no actual violence as long as the victim alleges a fear of violence.
What Should I Do If I Am Charged With A Domestic Abuse Crime?
I have represented countless individuals accused of domestic crimes including domestic assault, violation of a restraining order, and child abuse. In the cases where the alleged victim has wished to see his or her family or household member charged and convicted, I have worked hard to uncover ulterior motives to explain the accusations. I have successfully shown that alleged victims have made false accusations to get revenge, cover up their own transgressions, or to get custody of the children in a divorce. In most cases, however, the domestic partner desperately wishes to see the charges dismissed and is amazed by the unresponsiveness of the prosecutor to his or her wishes. In those cases I have referred the alleged victim to a lawyer other than me to talk about options that may keep him or her from being forced to testify. If the alleged victim and the defendant are legally married, the alleged victim can legally refuse to testify against his or her spouse. If the alleged victim was involved in the altercation by either starting the fight or fighting back, he or she can “take the Fifth” and assert a Fifth Amendment privileged against self-incrimination. In many cases, the prosecutor can’t prove the case at trial without the testimony of the alleged victim and the charges must then be dismissed.
In cases where the alleged victim is working with the prosecution to convict and punish my client, I take an aggressive approach to trial. I carefully investigate the alleged victim until I pinpoint his or her motive for falsely accusing my client of such serious crimes. I then cross-examine the witness at trial to expose this motive and show the jury why his or her testimony can’t be trusted. In cases where the accuser would like to see the charges dismissed, I take a gentler approach and work with everyone involved
to get the best result possible. It is important to have an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Massachusetts who has more than one speed; there are times to enter the courtroom ready for battle and there are times to have the family work together.
If you or someone you love has been charged with domestic abuse or a restraining order violation, or if you have been served with restraining order papers, please contact me for a free consultation. I have offices in Belmont, MA and Lowell, MA and I represent clients in courts throughout the Greater Boston Area, north of Boston, and Metrowest Boston.