Essex County Domestic Violence Attorney
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Essex, Suffolk, Worcester, Middlesex, & Norfolk Counties
Domestic violence is a terrible crime. In addition to the physical suffering of the crime itself, a victim loses the sense of feeling safe in the sanctuary of their own home. Of that, there is no doubt. But what is in doubt is whether everyone accused of this, or any other crime, is actually guilty. The complete unacceptability of domestic violence itself means that any accusations of such ought to meet the highest standards of proof. Furthermore, those accused ought to receive the tenacious legal defense they are entitled to. That’s what our Essex County domestic violence lawyers aim to give them.
Here at Aprodu | Conley, we believe in our clients, and we fight for them. When your freedom and reputation are on the line, you deserve no less. We serve clients throughout Essex, Suffolk, Worcester, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties, offering both free consultations and payment plans.
Domestic violence is a crime where it’s easy to feel like “you know it when you see it”. That’s probably true, but the law does require something more specific. In the state of Massachusetts, a crime may be considered domestic violence when the victim:
- Is a spouse (or former spouse)
- An intimate partner (or former intimate partner)
- A relative by blood or marriage
- Or anyone they are living under the same roof with
The allegations usually involved in domestic violence—notably assault and battery—are crimes regardless of who the victim is. But when the crime can be considered domestic violence, that has significant consequences for sentencing in the event of a conviction.
What are the Penalties For Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?
Criminal law here in Massachusetts separates domestic violence assault and battery from other assault cases. In domestic violence cases, it is easier for judges to deny bail in advance of the trial. If a defendant is convicted, they can be ordered into a treatment program to deal with violent tendencies.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
Perhaps most serious though is that in the event of a second offense, a domestic violence charge is automatically escalated to a felony, even when it would otherwise be a misdemeanor.
- To be sure, a misdemeanor conviction is still quite serious. Convictions on these so-called “lesser” charges can still result in up to 2 ½ years in prison, along with a fine that may go as high as $1,000.
- But a felony conviction can mean 5 years behind bars, and the fine could be $5,000.
In a standard assault and battery case, it would normally take the use of a dangerous weapon to allow a prosecutor to elevate the charge as a felony. On a first offense for domestic violence, that’s still true. But, once previously convicted, any future domestic violence charges will be brought as a felony.
That means defendants need an Essex County domestic violence attorney who will fight hard on that first charge and continue to dig in and advocate for the rights of the accused in the event of future charges. Whether you need help defending yourself against criminal charges or dealing with a restraining order hearing, Aprodu | Conley is here for you.
Every case is different, with its own unique dynamics, and that means no defense strategy can ever be one-size-fits-all. But there are some common starting points for an Essex County domestic violence lawyer to begin when working with clients on how to handle their defense. This can include questions like the following…
Are we dealing with a misunderstanding? It’s worth pointing out that assault does not actually require a physical act of violence (that would be battery). Assault simply means that the alleged victim felt a credible threat of violence. Was the perception of violence actually true? Can the accuracy of that perception be proven in court by the District Attorney?
Was self-defense involved? Let’s consider a sad scenario where the alleged victim came at the defendant with an object of some kind or even just charged forward in a rage. Was that the precipitating event that caused the defendant to react? If so, were the defendant’s actions proportionate and reasonable based on the threat they themselves felt? If so, there may be a valid case for self-defense.
Is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt? This basic question underlies all defense strategies in all criminal defense cases. It’s not enough for the defendant’s guilt to be believed by the community, friends, or even family members, simply based on the victim’s word. The evidence must be so overwhelming that no other reasonable conclusion is possible, and a unanimous vote of 12 jurors must affirm that. That’s a very high bar to meet, and our defense attorneys make sure jurors know it.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Lawyers in Essex County Today
Defendants need to know two things when they face domestic violence charges. They need to know that their attorney believes in them and will fight with a real passion for justice. They also need to know that their lawyer has a deep understanding of the law, procedure, and all of the important details that will decide their case. At Aprodu | Conley, they get that passionate professionalism.
Contact Aprodu Conley today to get started on your defense with our Essex County domestic violence attorneys.
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