Protect Your Rights Against a Domestic Violence Prosecution

Protect Your Rights Against a Domestic Violence Prosecution

Under Massachusetts law, domestic violence encompasses a range of actions, including physical harm, attempted physical harm, inducing fear of imminent serious physical harm, and involuntary sexual relations between household and family members. Violating any protective order also constitutes a domestic violence offense. The law broadly defines family and household members to include:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Individuals living together
  • Relatives by blood or marriage
  • People with children in common
  • Current or former dating partners

This wide definition means that many situations can potentially be classified as domestic violence.

Arrests for Domestic Violence

A police officer can arrest an individual for domestic violence if they have probable cause to believe that a household or family member has committed a crime against another member. In Massachusetts, police may arrest someone at any time if they believe the suspect has violated a protective order or committed a felony.

Additionally, the police can arrest a suspect for any misdemeanor constituting domestic abuse, including assault and battery. Assault involves using physical force or the threat of physical force against another person. Any unwanted physical contact or contact likely to cause harm constitutes an assault. Repeat offenses, particularly against a household or family member, are treated more severely, with heavier penalties and fines.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

In a domestic violence context, assault can result in up to two-and-a-half years in jail and fines up to $1,000. If the defendant is under a restraining order, penalties can increase to up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

Common Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges

Several defenses can be employed against domestic violence charges:

  • Mistaken Identity: Often, large households or families can lead to confusion and wrongful arrests. An alibi proving the defendant was not at the scene can be a strong defense.
  • False Allegations: In some cases, especially during child custody disputes, one parent may falsely accuse the other of domestic violence to gain an advantage. Establishing these allegations as false can be a powerful defense.
  • Self-Defense: Demonstrating that the defendant acted in self-defense can exonerate them.
  • Consent: If the contact was consensual, it may not constitute assault.
  • Lack of Proof: The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Lack of sufficient evidence can lead to a dismissal of charges.


Facing domestic violence charges is a serious matter with significant legal consequences. If you are accused of domestic violence, it is crucial to protect your rights and seek experienced legal representation. The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz & Scott Bradley are dedicated to defending your rights and providing a strong defense. Contact us today to discuss your case and take the first step towards safeguarding your future.


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Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, call The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz & Scott Bradley, at (781) 974-3429.

We are available 24/7 and can assess your criminal charges over the phone to quickly determine your best course of action. Then, our law office will represent you in court as we fight together against your charges.

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