Domestic Violence

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Are Domestic Violence Cases Treated More Seriously Than Other Assault Cases?

Domestic violence cases, at least in Massachusetts, are absolutely treated more seriously than assault and battery cases. It's because primarily for so many years these cases were not given enough attention and people ended up dead. Now we overshoot it. And it's treated extremely seriously.

Will Just An Accusation Of Domestic Violence Affect My Immigration Status?

The simple accusation of a crime in the domestic violence setting, in and of itself, will not affect your immigration status, unless someone listens to it. Chances are, if someone's claiming it, somebody's listening to it. And it's usually a court, a police officer, and down the road, a prosecutor. So technically, no. Realistically, yes.

Can I Be Deported If I'm Convicted Of Domestic Violence In Massachusetts?

If you have a conviction for any type of crime, particularly certain types of crime, like domestic violence, you can absolutely be deported. Immigration takes those things, those types of cases, extremely seriously.

What Is Your Experience Defending Domestic Violence Cases?

I have been handling domestic violence type cases actually for about 25 years. I began as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, NY and I've been doing defense here in Massachusetts since 1990. A large variety of my cases are domestic violence cases. I've seen the penalties go up, as the cases have been treated much more seriously over the years. I know how the other side thinks. I know how the court thinks in these cases, and I know how to defend my client.

What's The #1 Mistake People Make When Arrested For Domestic Violence?

The number one mistake that I see people make when arrested in a domestic violence situation, is not taking it seriously soon enough. It is critical to get an attorney involved who is experienced with these types of cases. Too often people figure well, the charges are going to be dropped, nobody's going to take it seriously, I just had an argument with my spouse... Don't think that way, because the court doesn't think that way. Take it seriously, from moment one.

What Are The Chances Of An Acquittal In A Domestic Violence Case?

Your chances of getting an acquittal in a domestic violence case in Massachusetts depends on a few things. First and foremost, the circumstances. What are you charged with? You're not charged with domestic violence; domestic violence has to do with the circumstances from which the case arrived. But, if it's assault and battery, if it's assault with a dangerous weapon, what are the circumstances, what are the injuries? That's one thing. The other thing is, what is your defense? If you put on a defense, which #1 seems like a waste of everybody's time, or is quite offensive, which can easily happen in a domestic violence case, than you're looking also at harming yourself, in terms of higher penalties. So it depends on what your defense is, and who your defense attorney is as well.

Are Penalties Worse If A Child Was The Victim Of Domestic Violence?

If a child is the victim of a domestic violence case, then the penalties are likely to be much higher than if that was not the case. The court looks at the innocence of the victim, in determining what the proper punishment should be. So, depending upon the offense of course, it's going to be more sensitive if the victim is a child. Those types of cases, particularly how they're handled, it's very critical to have somebody that has a lot of experience, because there may be a question of cross examining the child, and if you do it the wrong way, you endanger your client because there's a conviction, and you tick off the judge.

Are There Financial Penalties In A Massachusetts Domestic Violence Case?

There can be financial penalties if you're convicted in a domestic violence case, depending on the circumstances. If it's a question of medical expenses that were caused by, say, the assault, or that type of thing, restitution can be part of the sentence, as it can be in any other type of case.

Can I Be Sued For Domestic Violence In Massachusetts?

Just like in any other case, where there is crime with a victim, you can potentially be sued in a domestic violence case. Domestic violence is the circumstances or topic of where the case took place, but say there was an assault and battery, and the person is really injured, they can absolutely bring a lawsuit to recover damages for that assault and battery. Like they could if they were smashed into by a car.

How Can A Divorce Influence A Domestic Violence Case in Massachusetts?

I can't tell you how many times I have handled domestic violence cases that have come from a divorce case. Too often what happens is that one spouse decides they need a hand up, whether they're fighting over who gets the kids, who gets the better deal, and they suddenly make a criminal claim. That's when I get involved. It's dirty business. But it happens all the time. And if there's a conviction in that domestic violence case, than that person has won what they're after.

Is Domestic Violence in Massachusetts A Felony Crime Or A Misdemeanor?

Domestic violence is a type, or category, of crime. There is no actual offense called domestic violence. It would be the setting of where the crime took place, for example the crime could be assault and battery that took place in the home. That's a domestic violence case. It depends on whether or not that underlying offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, if it's just straight assault and battery, well that's a misdemeanor. It's a domestic violence case, it's a misdemeanor. If it's assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which could be anything including a shoe, it's a felony. Domestic violence, but still a felony. So you've got to look for the underlying defense, and that will determine whether it's a felony or misdemeanor.

Will A Domestic Violence Conviction Affect My Immigration Status?

A domestic violence conviction can absolutely affect your immigration status. It can end your immigration status frankly. Any conviction can be used by the immigration authorities to deport you, or to deny you citizenship. Certain types of cases, they take more seriously than others. Domestic violence is one of those that they take extremely seriously. So if you have a domestic violence conviction, you're in danger of being excluded from the United States.

Will I Be Able To See My Children If Convicted Of Domestic Violence?

Whether or not you're able to see your children, after a conviction in a domestic violence case, depends on a lot of things. Of course it depends on what the facts of the case were. It also depends frankly on how the case transpired. And your only control over that frankly, is hiring the right attorney, and taking the matter seriously, from the beginning. Because what happens in that case, is going to affect you down the line, and if your kids have been taken away, or you've been told that you have to leave the house, that's a real problem. If there's a bad record there, it's going to be quite difficult to see your kids.

Will A Domestic Violence Conviction Affect My Job?

In Massachusetts, really any kind of conviction can affect your job. Keep in mind that domestic violence, in and of itself, is not a crime. The record would read assault and battery, or whatever the offense is. If you are brought in to answer for what they found out was a conviction on your record, and if you explain that it was a domestic violence case, don't expect, as in days of old, that they'll go "oh, well it's just between you, it's a private matter." People are very, very sensitive about these matters today. So the short answer is, that it can absolutely affect your job.

Can I Avoid Jail In A Domestic Violence Case In Massachusetts?

It's certainly possible to avoid jail if convicted in a domestic violence case in Massachusetts. It depends on what the actual offenses are, or how serious the offenses are, if there are injuries and that type of thing. And frankly what evidence you have brought before the court. Obviously, if you're found not guilty, you're not worrying about jail time. However, if you are found guilty, the judge is going to decide what the sentence will be, and that's going to be dependent in large part to what kind of evidence you've presented to the court, for them to take into account, on your behalf.

Will I Go To Jail For A Domestic Violence Conviction?

In Massachusetts, domestic violence is a category, or type of crime. It's not a statutory offense. It would however include things like assault, assault & battery, depending upon the circumstances. However because it's domestic violence, it's treated particularly seriously, and with a lot more sensitivity. How much time, if any, you're likely to serve with a conviction from that type of case, depends on the type of case, the facts, and frankly your representation.

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Dear Sam, I can not thank you enough for your expertise in the handling of Chris's case as well as your sensitivity and caring attitude. toward him. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. He really expressed how good it felt to be able to talk to you! Sincerely and may God bless you.
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