Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence charges are seldom independent of other legal proceedings, such as restraining orders, and often play a factor in divorce and child custody cases. Because of these far-reaching effects, you require the legal services of domestic violence expert Attorney Paul R. Moraski. His experienced and thorough approach – including independent investigations of the claims and aggressive advocacy – is sure to accomplish the most beneficial outcome in your case. Powerful help is only a phone call away.
Domestic Violence Defense
In Massachusetts, a domestic restraining order is known as a “209A order”. Such orders are first issued temporarily, usually without the subject of the order being present. He or she can defend against this retraining order at a hearing that is held 10 days after the temporary 209A is issued.
The consequences of a 209A restraining order
If you are the subject of a 209A restraining order, it is essential to have experienced representation at these hearings, as the orders, once permanent, can prevent you from seeing your children or being in the same neighborhood as your spouse. Even more important, it is very easy to violate these orders unwittingly and then be charged with the criminal offense of violating a 209A.
Types of domestic assault charges
In addition to representing people charged with violating a restraining order, Attorney Moraski defends individuals charged with other types of domestic violence, including:
- Domestic assault and battery
- Criminal harassment
Domestic violence often a factor in divorce proceedings
Domestic assault can be between spouses, domestic partners, parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren. It is often a factor in divorce proceedings, with one party accusing the other of committing domestic violence and seeking a restraining order in revenge for perceived or real slights and difficulties.
Investigating to get at the truth
Domestic Violence is a form of abuse which involves people who know each other, such as spouses, ex spouses, partners, parents and children, or boyfriends and girlfriends. In many cases in which a person has been accused of or charged with Domestic Violence or Spousal abuse, he or she is seen as guilty by the public based on the arrest, rather than the facts of the case. Most people are unaware that their local police departments have a mandatory arrest policy when the police are called to a home for allegations of Domestic Violence. Unfortunately, Domestic Violence is one of the easiest crimes to fabricate because all it takes is a bitter ex-girlfriend, angry spouse or disgruntled relative to contact law enforcement agents and the investigation starts against you. Commonly charged Domestic Violence Charges include:
|· Domestic Assault and Battery
· Domestic Assault
· Criminal Harassment
· Intimidation of a Witness
Domestic Violence Charges can have a severe effect on one’s criminal record, reputation in the community and relationships within one’s family.
Domestic Violence Penalties
Domestic Violence Penalties range in potential penalties. One thing is definite though, with the change in the Domestic Violence Law, there are harsher jail penalties, more court fines and fees and stricter probation penalties for those being prosecuted for Domestic Violence Crimes. For further details on the ins and outs of Domestic Violence Penalties, call me immediately.
Here are a few examples of potential penalties:
- Mandatory Certified Batterer’s Program upon a CWOF or Guilty Finding
- Mandatory Violence Prevention Assessment
- Increased Jail Time for Aggravated Offenses
- Increased Jail Time for Subsequent Offenders
- Increased dissemination of CORI
- Increased 58A Dangerousness Hearings
Domestic Batterer’s Program
The New Domestic Violence Laws now make the Batterer’s Program mandatory when a person receives a CWOF or Guilty Finding for a 209A Domestic Restraining Order Violation or Domestic Assault & Battery Charge. If you receive a CWOF or Guilty Finding, the only way to avoid the Batterer’s Program is for a Judge to make specific written findings describing the reasons why that Batterer’s Program shouldn’t be ordered in your case.
Most people who attend the Batterer’s Program will be ordered to do so by the Massachusetts Courts, few people decide to do so voluntarily. The Batterer’s Program will focus on recidivism and usually requires participants to take responsibility for their alleged abusive behavior. The goal of the Batterer’s Program is to attempt to change abusive behavior, and keep the alleged victims safe. The Batterer’s Program is one of the most intense programs that a Judge can order you to complete, and has a very high failure rate because of the time commitment and harsh program criteria.
Batterer’s Program Criteria:
- 40+ weeks long, for 2 hours per week
- Sliding pay scale (depends on how much money you make)
- Cost Range $0-$3,400
- Sessions usually held in groups
- Participants are required to take Responsibility for their Alleged Abusive Behavior
Domestic Violence Bail Considerations
Once there is a Domestic Violence arrest made, the person arrested will not be able to post bail until at least 6 hours has passed. A delay in posting bail is just the first consideration that a person arrested on a Domestic Violence Charge will face. Here are some additional Bail Considerations that the Court may entertain:
- Cash Bail (Judge’s Discretion on the Amount)
- GPS Bracelet (Person is released with exclusion zones)
- Ankle Bracelet (Person may be released with house arrest/home confinement)
- Stay Away from Alleged Victim
- Not to Contact Alleged Victim
- Pre-Trial Probation
- Random Drug or Alcohol Screens as part of Pre-Trial Probation
- Remain Employed
- Active Job Search
- Ordered not to leave the Jurisdiction
- Ordered to abide by any active Restraining Order
- Ordered to Surrender Firearms
Getting out on Bail is an essential part to successfully defending your case. So, contact an experienced Massachusetts Domestic Violence Attorney Paul R. Moraski, who can put the facts in a light most favorable to you, at (978) 744 – 1200.