Boston Domestic Violence Attorney

An allegation of domestic assault and battery is a serious matter in Massachusetts. Based on recent high profile cases involving local defendants (see the Jared Remy case out of the Waltham District Court) and defendants in other jurisdictions (see NFL player Ray Rice’s case in Maryland) the Legislature in Massachusetts undertook the drastic step of amending the law in our Commonwealth to create the specific crime of domestic assault and battery under M.G.L. Ch 265 § 13M. This particular offense did not even exist prior to the amendment in August 2014, and the changes to the landscape of defending this particular charge go way beyond the enhanced penalties provided for under the new law. You can be sure that every district attorney’s office in the Commonwealth is making the prosecution of domestic assault and battery their top priority. This is evidenced by the hard-line stance they take in not dismissing these cases short of a trial date, the specific red “DV” stamp they use on the case folders (the modern “Scarlet Letter”), and the lengths to which they will go to make these charges stick despite the wishes of the alleged victim. The one-size-fits-all approach to prosecuting these cases is frustrating to many defendants and their loved ones, as it does not take into account the alleged victim’s true desires, and it completely ignores the complexity and history of relationship between the individuals involved. While no one should ever be in fear that they will be the victim of domestic violence, similarly no one should be forced to feel victimized when that is not the reality of the situation. Quite often citizens will call the police to legislate their relationships or to “just get the other person to leave” without realizing the long-term consequences of that decision. The police are not a relationship counselor or a mediator. They are there to make an arrest, and you can be sure that when it comes to domestic assault and battery calls they are instructed that an arrest is the only appropriate course of action to prevent the possibility of further disturbances.

Experienced Domestic Violence, Assault & Battery Case Representation

Once you have been arrested for a domestic assault and battery, you will be held in custody for a MINIMUM of 6 hrs, even if the alleged victim protests that this is unnecessary. When you are eventually brought to court, even someone with no prior record can expect the prosecutor to ask for bail in a domestic assault and battery case, and it is important to have a qualified and experienced lawyer on your side to rebut that request. The prosecutor will also file an “allegation of domestic abuse” which will be forever stored in a database under the Commonwealth’s control. The Commonwealth can also ask for what is called a “dangerousness hearing,” at which a judge will be asked to make a preliminary determination about the likelihood that the defendant is “dangerous.” If the Judge makes a preliminary determination that a defendant is indeed a danger to the alleged victim or the community at large, the Commonwealth is entitled to 3 days to prepare for a final hearing, and the defense can ask for a continuance of up to 7 days. At the final hearing evidence will be taken, and witnesses will be heard as to the defendant’s alleged “dangerousness,” and if the Judge sides with the Commonwealth a defendant shall be held for 120 days without the right to post bail. This can be a devastating and completely horrific consequence to any defendant. But it is especially nightmarish for those who have never spent time in custody, and who’s cases may eventually be resolved without any incarcerated sentence. People lose their homes, jobs, business, etc by virtue of being taken out of their community for 4 months without warning. So before a jury ever hears your case, you may have to spend 4 months away from your friends, family, etc. The stakes are very real and very high when you are charged with a domestic assault and battery. You cannot afford to take chances with your freedom!

If you are convicted of a domestic assault and battery you can face a sentence of up to 2.5 years in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Further, the change in the law in August 2014 requires that anyone convicted of this offense complete a “certified batter’s program.” This condition is extremely onerous on most defendants as it requires the expenditure of a considerable amount of time (approximately 80 hours over 40 weeks) and money (as costly as $3,500 in program fees).

The days of a domestic assault and battery being viewed as a “private” or a “family” matter are long gone, and you can expect the prosecutor to prefer the possibility of losing a case at trial to the possibility of dismissing a case like this prior to a scheduled trial. For this reason you absolutely need a capable and seasoned Boston criminal defense attorney to represent you in any assault and battery case. From the moment you are charged with a domestic assault and battery you need to work with your attorney to formulate a strong and sensible defense to protect yourself.

You can find more information about the penalties for domestic assault and battery at:

Call Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Rakhlin for a FREE consultation regarding your upcoming assault and battery case: (617) 564-0466