Domestic violence crimes are treated very seriously in Massachusetts. Police are trained to make an arrest when they respond to a home where allegations of an assault have occurred. Police are trained to remove a person from the home to avoid the situation escalating and ending up in a tragedy in which they will be held accountable for not having reacted upon their first arrival. Domestic violence includes physical abuse, psychological abuse, threats and harassment. It is considered domestic violence when the abuse takes place between family members or persons living together in an intimate relationship.
All it takes is someone calling 911 and reporting that they have been assaulted or are in fear of harm. Police will arrive at the home shortly after separate those involved and question both sides. These cases usually take the form of a “he said-she said” swearing contest. All it takes is a moment of anger where someone calls the police and accuses the other of assault, no evidence of physical injury is necessary, the police will act and arrest based on the initial report.
Prosecutors take these cases very seriously in that they consider domestic abuse to be a cycle of both physical and psychological abuse. Even if the victim wishes to drop charges the very next day they will still continue with the case taking the stance that the victim may be influenced by their domestic partner. It is important to get an attorney who knows how to handle domestic violence cases involved as soon as possible. The police will question you upon their arrival, anything you say can and will be used against you as evidence.
It is common for the victim to obtain a restraining order against the person arrested. This restraining order will keep the accused from communicating and interacting with the accuser for up to one year. The restraining order may also order you stay away from the family home as well as any minor children. The accused will be told by the judge that he must live elsewhere and will be given an opportunity to collect personal belongings only with a police escort. All this can take place through the allegations of a domestic partner or spouse who calls the police and informs a judge that an assault has occurred.
Allegations of domestic assault and abuse can also lead to the division of child and family services, formerly known as the Department of Social Services, getting involved. This agency will investigate whether any minor children are at risk in the home and has the power to remove children from the home. Domestic abuse can also have an effect on one’s immigration status if not a US citizen which can result in deportation.
Call attorney Frank Fernandez for advice, as a Boston criminal defense lawyer he has successfully defended clients charged with domestic assault and has obtained numerous dismissals of such cases.