Domestic Violence Restraining Order Violations
The statutory penalties for assault and battery are the same whether the alleged victim is your longtime spouse or a total stranger. However, domestic assault charges are unique in a number of ways. Massachusetts recently passed a new law that makes it easier for judges to hold domestic violence defendants without bail. There is also now a state database that includes the name of every person charged with domestic violence in Massachusetts.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, Attorney Chris Spring will work to get your case dismissed. If the Commonwealth does press charges — with or without the victim’s consent — Attorney Spring will aggressively defend your rights from the arraignment through the jury trial.Massachusetts Domestic Abuse Defense Attorney
Domestic assault is an assault against a spouse or live-in partner, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a sibling, parent or other member of the household. Simple assault is conduct that puts someone in fear of bodily harm, such as a verbal threat or a menacing gesture. Assault and battery is actual physical contact. In the context of domestic violence, this could be punching or kicking, a slap or a shove, or grabbing someone by the arm.
Assault and battery is punishable by up to 2 1/2 years in the House of Correction. If the victim was pregnant, elderly, or suffered lasting injury, the charges may be enhanced to aggravated assault and battery, which carries a sentence of up to five years in state prison. Attorney Spring recognizes that any jail time is a hardship and that a domestic violence conviction has collateral consequences involving child custody, employment and education.Former Prosecutor on Your Side
Attorney Spring is a former Middlesex County assistant district attorney who prosecuted hundreds of domestic violence cases while serving in the District Attorney’s Office. Since founding Spring & Spring, he has successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with violating the domestic violence laws. The following information may be relevant to your case:
- Under Massachusetts law, one spouse cannot be forced to testify against the other. The Commonwealth will not necessarily dismiss the case if a spouse refuses to testify, but it makes the allegations harder to prove.
- In the vast majority of domestic assault cases, the alleged victim was involved in the altercation in some way, by either initiating physical contact or fighting back. The alleged victim can invoke his or her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, which weakens the prosecution’s case.
- If the case goes to trial, Attorney Spring will work with you to present the most compelling defense to the jury, which might include self-defense, mutual combat, unintentional contact, bias (motive to lie) or defense of another person.
Any alleged victim of domestic violence (plaintiff) can go to court and ask a judge to issue a restraining order against the alleged abuser (defendant). Ordinarily, a 10-day restraining order is issued by the court, which typically forbids the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim or the children. The defendant will be notified of the temporary order and given a hearing date within the 10 days to determine if the abuse prevention order should be continued for one year. Attorney Spring has extensive experience in representing defendants at these hearings to argue against imposition of the permanent order.
Violation of an abuse prevention order is a serious crime, punishable by up to 2 1/2 years in jail. The penalties are enhanced if the order was violated in conjunction with an allegation of stalking. The law exists to protect victims from further abuse, but sometimes the plaintiff seeks the order not for protection, but for revenge against the defendant or for an advantage in family court proceedings.
Attorney Spring understands the very serious consequences that result from a conviction involving domestic violence. Contact Attorney Spring today to arrange a free, confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Chris Spring will travel to your home to meet with you.