Domestic Violence Offenses
Violent crimes are some of the most serious offenses under Massachusetts law. While lawmakers and prosecutors have shown some willingness to lighten up on those who commit victimless crimes, their focus has shifted towards aggressively prosecuting and punishing violent offenders. At the same time, these crimes are highly emotional and often based on gross exaggerations, if not outright fabrications. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a veteran criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience representing clients facing these difficult charges.What Are Domestic Violence Offenses?
Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is a term used to describe certain offenses committed against household members. In this context, “household member” is a broad term referring to people who are currently married or in a dating relationship, who lived together at any time, who have a child together, or who are related by blood or marriage. It also covers those who used to be in a relationship but have since gone their separate ways.
Not all domestic violence offenses involve actual violence, but many do. There is no strict definition of what constitutes domestic violence in Massachusetts. Any offense involving the following can be the basis for a domestic violence arrest:
- Causing physical harm;
- Attempting to cause physical harm;
- Placing another in fear of physical harm; and
- Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations.
Common Boston domestic violence offenses include assault, assault and battery, and sex offenses, including rape. Although not technically considered a domestic violence offense, these cases also often involve a claim that you violated a restraining order.
Given the fact that, by definition, domestic violence allegations involve people who are or were once close, these cases tend to be very emotional and complex. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the challenges these cases present, working towards a positive resolution to the case.The Challenges Domestic Violence Allegations Present
If you were recently arrested for a Boston violent crime in which the alleged victim is a friend or family member, you may be facing a domestic violence offense. While the underlying conduct in these cases is similar to other crimes, these cases are unique in several ways.
For example, there is a mandatory arrest protocol for domestic violence offenses. Thus, if someone makes a report of domestic violence against you, police must arrest you if there is probable cause to believe that abuse occurred, even if the alleged victim recants, or takes back the allegations. Once someone makes a domestic violence report against you, the prosecution can continue with the case—even without the alleged victim’s cooperation.
Of course, in many Boston domestic violence cases, the alleged victim is on board. However, just because a victim is willing to take the stand and testify to the abuse does not mean that it occurred. Domestic violence offenses are frequently the product of unrelated disputes, which can snowball into serious allegations. For example, if your partner finds out that you were unfaithful, they could fabricate domestic violence charges against you as a form of revenge.
Often, the outcome of the case comes down to the witness’s credibility, or truthfulness. A skilled domestic violence attorney will know where to look to challenge a witness’s story. For example, did they delay reporting the accident? Are their pictures or medical records substantiating the allegations? Did they ever threaten to make false accusations against you? Do you have text messages or social media posts that contradict their story? These things can all be used to challenge an alleged victim’s story.Were You Arrested for a Crime of Domestic Violence?
If you face a domestic violence case, reach out to Attorney Patrick. J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy is a skilled Boston criminal defense lawyer who has handled countless cases on behalf of clients from all walks of life. He understands the complexities that these cases present and approaches every case with a practical yet aggressive approach. As a litigator with more than 25 years of experience, Attorney Murphy knows where to look to expose witnesses’ biases, exaggerations, and lies. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call (617) 367-0450 or reach out to him through his online contact form.