Middlesex Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Massachusetts has some of the strictest laws and procedures on the books when it comes to crimes of domestic violence. At the same time, DV cases are often full of holes, missing witnesses, or based on exaggerated or made-up testimony. However, this doesn’t mean that those facing domestic violence offenses should sit back and wait for the case to get dropped because, in some cases, the Commonwealth may be able to proceed without the alleged victim’s participation. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Middlesex domestic violence defense attorney has nearly three decades of experience aggressively defending the rights of men and women charged with serious DV crimes. We understand that these cases are exceptionally complex and what it takes to mount a successful defense against even the toughest cases.How Is Domestic Violence Defined in Massachusetts?
Under Massachusetts law, a domestic violence offense refers to certain types of crimes that are committed against “family or household members.” Under Mass. General Laws Chapter 209A Section 1, family or household members refer to the following relationships:
- People who are married or were previously married;
- People who live together or previously lived together;
- People who are related by blood or marriage;
- People who have a child in common; and
- People who were involved in a “substantive dating or engagement relationship.”
Courts have the final decision regarding whether a relationship amounts to a “substantive dating or engagement relationship,” which depends on the following factors:
- The duration of the relationship;
- The type of relationship;
- How often the parties interacted with each other; and
- The recency of the relationship.
The definition of domestic violence in Massachusetts includes three different types of crimes, including the following:
- Causing or attempting to cause physical harm;
- Putting another in fear of bodily injury; and
- Forcing another person to engage in involuntary sexual acts.
The most commonly charged domestic violence offenses in Middlesex County include:Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member
To prove assault and battery against a family or household member requires the government to prove that you put another person in imminent fear of physical injury and that your actions were likely to result in actual injury. Assault and battery on a family or household member carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in a house of correction as well as a fine of $1,000.Intimidation of a Witness
Witness intimidation is a crime that punishes those who threaten, injure, or attempt to injure a witness, including an alleged victim. It is also considered witness intimidation to attempt to influence someone not to testify or show up to court by giving them a gift or anything else of value. Intimidation of a witness is punishable by ten years in state prison and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.Strangulation
Strangulation is a specific type of assault and battery in which someone uses pressure applied to another’s neck or throat to interfere with their normal breathing or blood flow. Strangulation punishments include up to a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $5,000.
Middlesex County prosecutors take allegations of domestic violence very seriously, so it is imperative to discuss your case with a Middlesex domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible.Discuss Your Charges with a Middlesex Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DV crime, having a dedicated Middlesex County criminal defense lawyer in your corner can make the difference in your case. At the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy, we take a comprehensive and individualized approach to every case we handle, ensuring that your case receives the attention it deserves, so nothing slips through the cracks. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call 617-367-0450 or reach out to us through our online contact form. We represent clients in Framingham, Lowell, Woburn, Malden, Concord, Waltham, and Cambridge district courts.