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Domestic Assault & Battery

Some common crimes our clients in the Lowell, Massachusetts, area face include Operation of a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (otherwise known as an OUI or DUI or DWI), Domestic Assault and Battery and Possession and/or Distribution of Narcotics. There are other crimes commonly associated with these offenses and unique defenses for them.

What Is Domestic Assault And Battery?

The crime of assault and battery is a misdemeanor but does carry the possibility of jail time. It requires the prosecution (also known as the "Commonwealth" in Massachusetts) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant touched another person without having the right to do so, (2) that the defendant intended to touch that person, and (3) that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm or was done without the person's consent. There is no difference between the crime of assault and battery and "domestic" assault and battery. Technically, there is no crime of "domestic" assault and battery. It is simply charged as an assault and battery. Lawyers, judges and court personnel add the term "domestic" to distinguish a kind of assault and battery because its domestic nature may influence the course of the case.

Allegations Regarding Restraining Order Violations

Crimes often accompanying a domestic assault and battery may include the crime of Violation of a 209A Restraining Order and Intimidation of a Witness (a felony). Oftentimes, the alleged victim does not wish to proceed with the case after the defendant has been charged. If the parties are married the alleged victim may refuse to testify against the defendant at the criminal trial. Otherwise, the prosecution can compel the alleged victim to testify. If the alleged victim refuses to testify and the prosecution, for whatever reason, cannot compel his or her testimony, usually, the only way left for the prosecution to prove its case is through the testimony of other percipient witnesses (i.e., eyewitnesses) or by introducing statements made by the alleged victim to the police — a method that is very difficult, but not impossible, for the prosecution to do in light of recent changes in the rules of evidence.

In any case, the parties may sign a document known as an Accord and Satisfaction and ask the judge to dismiss the case. An Accord and Satisfaction would not be applicable against a felony such as Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, and the judge may exercise his or her discretion in deciding to allow or deny a request for a dismissal by virtue of an Accord and Satisfaction.

Contact Our Law Office To Protect Your Rights

Domestic assault and battery cases require immediate attention. Manzi, Seccareccio & Merwin, P.C., has offices in Lowell and Woburn and has long provided representation in these and other criminal defense matters. Contact our law office for a free initial consultation by calling 978-703-8517 or 781-304-8864.