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Domestic Assault and Battery

Aggressive Defense Against Domestic Assault and Battery Charges

Domestic assault and battery charges are extremely common in the state of Massachusetts and can have serious implications. Domestic assault and battery convictions often carry with them requirements that the defendant complete special programs for “batters,” or anger management programs, and those convicted may be ordered to stay away from the person on whom they committed the assault and battery. If a weapon was involved in the altercation, the punishment becomes far more serious yet.

Domestic assault and battery cases often stem from incidents related to the decline of a relationship, whether it be with a significant other or a family member. As such, they often involve intense emotions and chaos. If you have been charged with domestic assault and battery, you are likely experiencing a range of emotions, from anger and hurt, to fear and confusion.

We have prepared the following list of frequently asked questions concerning domestic assault and battery to give you a quick understanding of the charges against you:

  1. What is Domestic Assault and Battery?

    Domestic assault and battery is the same act statutorily as regular assault and battery. Assault and battery are two separate acts, although they are very similar. Assault refers to a threat of violence, as opposed to battery which refers to unlawful physical contact with the intent to cause injury, harm, or pain. Though the acts are distinct, Massachusetts police officers have the right to arrest someone for assault and battery even if there was no physical harm. Domestic assault and battery specifically refers to an assault and battery that occurs within a family relationship.

  2. What Sentence do I Face if Convicted of Domestic Assault and Battery?

    The punishment you face for a domestic assault and battery will depend on the facts of the case and the existence of aggravating factors. Assault and battery is a misdemeanor crime, and a defendant convicted of it faces up to 30 months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Often, defendants are allowed probation in lieu of imprisonment. Probation will come at a cost, however, as the court may require you complete a Certified Batter’s Program or an anger management program. Both programs will require an extensive time commitment and be at your cost. The Certified Batter’s Program can cost over $3,500 in some cases. Anger management is the less intensive, and more cost effective option if the court will allow for it.

    When the victim has been seriously injured, pregnant, over 65, or the defendant had an outstanding no contact order against the victim, the assault and battery can be aggravated. Aggravated assault and battery is a felony offense and you could face up to 5 years imprisonment.

    If a dangerous weapon is involved, which can be anything the defendant knew or should have known could cause grave bodily harm, then the defendant can be charged with the serious crime of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which can result in up to 15 years imprisonment.

    Given the range of possible sentences and the numerous charges lumped under the term domestic assault and battery, it is best to consult with a knowledge domestic assault and battery attorney who can examine your charges and provide you with a full explanation of the potential sentences you face.

  3. The Victim Does not Wish to Press Charges; can I Still be Arrested?

    Not only can you still be arrested—in Massachusetts you will be arrested. Today, most Massachusetts police departments have guidelines in place that actually require an officer arrest the alleged batter even if the victim recants, and even if no other evidence supports the accusation that an assault and battery took place. This policy is meant to protect the victim from any further harm befalling them in the event officers simply left the alleged batter in the home. However, in practice, it has resulted in many arrested based on little to no evidence that a crime occurred.

  4. The Victim Wants to Drop the Charges; can I Still be Prosecuted?

    There is a common misconception that when/if the victim, often a spouse, decides they do not want to press charges, the prosecution simply stops. This is just not the case in Massachusetts. The District Attorney’s office is in total control of what cases are brought to completion and which are dismissed, and they are generally not responsive to the wishes of the victim, even when the victim recants his or her testimony.

  5. I'm Starting to Understand the Seriousness of the Offense, but What can I do to Prevent Conviction?

    The first and most vital step is to retain an experienced Boston domestic assault and battery attorney. It is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident so that they conduct a thorough case investigation while the evidence is still fresh and the case against you is still in its infancy.

    There is a tendency for those charged with a misdemeanor assault and battery charge to believe they do not need the assistance of an attorney, since they will likely only receive probation. This is a gravely flawed assumption. First, it is far from guaranteed that you will be sentenced to a term of probation. You do face jail time, even as a first time offender. Second, even a misdemeanor conviction for assault and battery can have long term consequences. It will form part of your criminal record and in the event you commit another domestic violence crime, it may increase your possible sentence range. Do not take a quick plea offer without consulting with a knowledgeable attorney as you may be able to avoid any conviction on your record whatsoever.

A skilled defense attorney will be able to assess the facts of your individual case and develop the best defense strategy. Oftentimes, domestic assault and battery cases involve essentially the word of the victim against that of the defendant. This can be tricky to defend against, but an experienced defense attorney can uncover evidence to show the victim’s unlawful motivation for the charges.

The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman Will Fight for You

At The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, we will thoroughly and meticulously examine the facts of your case and develop the best defense strategy to obtain the best possible legal outcome. We are a team of relentless, aggressive defense attorneys that will provide you with zealous, intelligent defense. Call us today at 617-263-6800 to schedule your initial consultation.

Si usted habla español contacta a nuestro asistente de abogado Maria Rivera en 617-877-6270.

Case Results » Domestic Assault and Battery
  • Pretrial Probation for Non-Citizen Software Developer Charged With Domestic Assault and Battery

    Our client is a software developer from India. He has several doctoral degrees and is one of the most respected players in his industry. In February of this year police in his town responded to a 911 call for a woman barricaded in the family bathroom. The woman claimed that she had been struck by her husband and that he was trying to get into the bathroom to further his attack. When the police got to the house the wife told them that following an argument our client hit her several times in the back of the head and punched her in the chest. Our client was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery under G.L. c. 265 section 13M. Attorney Neyman negotiated pretrial probation under G.L. c. 276 section 87 for the man. This resolution will result in a dismissal and will have no impact on his employment or citizenship application. 

    Read More in Pretrial Probation 

  • Condition of Release Modified to Remove GPS From Man Charged With Domestic Assault and Battery

    Several weeks ago police were called to an intersection for a domestic assault and battery accusation. They were met by the complainant who stated that her ex-boyfriend had beat her severely. She was bleeding from her nose and her eyes were swollen shut. Several hours later our client was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery in violation of G.L. c. 265 section 13M. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device. This condition of release adversely affects employment, travel and basic human liberties. We were hired to defend him from these charges. The first order of business was to get the GPS removed so that our client could get back to work. We were able to cast doubt on the victim's story through surveillance videos and eyewitness statements taken by our investigator. Consequently, the judge agreed to remove the GPS. 

    Read More in Domestic Assault and Battery

  • General Continuance for Construction Worker Charged With Domestic Assault and Battery and Strangulation and Intimidation of a Witness

    Our client is a construction worker who recently opened his own business. He was recently at a family gathering in northern Essex County. He and his wife got into an argument. The argument was fueled by the wife's family insulting the man. According to witnesses the defendant became enraged by the onslaught of barbs and ended up hitting his wife. He then grabbed her by the neck and choked her. She tried to call 911 at which time he threw her phone in the woods. The wife's family subdued him and called 911. The man was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery under G.L. c. 265 section 13M, strangulation under G.L. c. 265 section 15D and intimidation of a witness under G.L. c. 268 section 13B. The latter two charges are felonies. Our office was able to get a general continuance for the defendant. In six months the case will be dismissed. 

    Read More in Domestic Assault and Battery

Client Reviews
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"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts