If you’ve been charged with domestic abuse, hire a domestic violence lawyer who can offer you the aggressive representation you need
Animosity between family members is emotionally stressful and exhausting, and being charged with domestic violence can exacerbate the situation and make you feel isolated and at a loss on how to proceed. If you have been charged with domestic abuse, it is important to hire a domestic violence lawyer to help you with your case.
If you live in Worcester or the surrounding area and are facing criminal charges, do not hesitate to call the legal team at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP. Our team of domestic violence attorneys will help you understand your options and offer you aggressive legal representation.
Domestic abuse: understanding the law
Domestic violence is taken very seriously in Massachusetts, and domestic violence lawyers know that prosecutors take an aggressive position in building their case. Domestic violence cases fall under both federal and state provisions, which means that each state may prosecute differently and penalties may vary.
In 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts at the time, Deval Patrick, signed a bill that made new domestic violence crimes fall under state law. The “Act Relative to Domestic Violence” made it easier for prosecutors in Massachusetts to “prove the existence of a domestic relationship between husbands and wives, parents and children, and even people who are just dating.”
Since 2014, domestic violence attorneys have seen the penalties become harsher for those charged and convicted of domestic violence, or those who have violated protective orders (i.e restraining orders). This is why it is so important to hire an aggressive domestic violence lawyer to help defend your case.
If you are accused and/or found guilty of a domestic violence crime, you may face penalties such as:
- Difficulty getting out of police custody following your initial arrest
- Prosecutors who will try to hold you for 120 days in jail without bail and without a trial
- Charges for a domestic violence crime if the alleged victim is your girlfriend or boyfriend
- Charges for additional domestic violence crimes in Massachusetts such as strangulation and aggravated strangulation.
However, this is not an exhaustive list. Speak to a domestic violence lawyer to best ascertain what penalties you may be facing.
What is considered domestic violence?
In Massachusetts domestic violence is any act of abuse that is committed by one member of a family or household over another. Abuse includes:
- attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
- placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or
- causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress.
To be clear, abuse does not need to be physical, it can be psychological and emotional as well. Additionally, one does not need to be married to the alleged victim in order for the violent crime to be considered domestic violence. The court will assess the victim and defendant to determine if the relationship in question is “substantive.” They will look at:
- the length of the relationship;
- the type of relationship;
- the frequency of interaction between the parties; and
- if the relationship is over, how long it’s been since the relationship ended.
A domestic violence lawyer can help you
If you have been charged with domestic abuse, you need to find representation. Find a domestic violence lawyer who approaches your case with suspended judgment and an aggressive approach. The Worcester team of domestic abuse lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP takes on small caseloads and therefore have the time and resources to dedicate to your defense.