In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
False Accusations of Domestic Abuse In the State of Massachusetts
The daily number of domestic violence incidences in the United States numbers into the thousands. Domestic violence not only affects the perpetrator and the victim, it negatively affects children who live in the home. Here are just a few domestic violence stats that are specific to Massachusetts:
§ The statewide domestic violence hotline, SafeLink, answered 21,637 domestic violence calls in 2006.
§ There were 28 victims killed in domestic violence related incidents and 24 incidents of domestic violence related homicide in 2006.
§ There were fifteen victims of domestic homicide in only the first half of 2006, which was equal to the total killed in 2005.
§ There were 28,760 protection orders issued in Massachusetts in 2005.
§ 82% of the perpetrators were male.
§ During this same period, 4,347 adults (88% of whom were male) were arraigned for violating orders for protection.
§ There were 2,582 incidents of sexual assault in Massachusetts between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006.1,742 of these cases were forcible rape.[i]
The sad reality is that many instances of domestic violence in the state of Massachusetts go unreported. However, those that reported are thoroughly investigated by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services and state and local law enforcement. Massachusetts maintains some of the strictest domestic violence laws in the country. Domestic violence is a serious issue that should be dealt with strictly. Unfortunately, these charges are among the easiest to falsely fabricate. All it requires is disgruntled and bitter spouse, child, or relative to pick up the phone and make a call.
Domestic violence is defined as a criminal act that features mental, physical, and sexual abuse within the confines of an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is also commonly referred as domestic abuse or spousal abuse. Examples of domestic abuse can include verbal threats, assault and battery, stalking, harassment, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and physical abuse. Often times, the cycle continues to repeat itself until it is finally reported to law enforcement.
Once an offender has been arrested, then they face harsh prosecution. If you have been charged with domestic violence, then it is going to be critical for you to have an experienced MA domestic violence attorney on your side to protect your interests and aggressively defend you in a court of law. Even if the charges are 100% false, the accused can still face criminal charges and prosecution. The Southern Law Poverty Center has estimated that as many as 65% of alleged victims will recant their stories before the case is brought to trial. This is why it is so important for you to have the proper legal representation in a court of law.
If you are falsely convicted of a domestic violence charges, then there can be severe ramifications. Here are just a few of the ramifications that you could encounter:
§ Loss of custody of your children
§ No mediation of disputes (i.e. in marriages that end in divorce)
§ Exclusion from your home (if it is the primary residence of the victim)
§ Required anger management classes and treatment
§ Financial burdens as you fight for custody of your children, must pay restitution, and assorted legal fees
§ A loss of career or derailment of career
§ A severe loss of reputation among family members, friends, and the community at large
Moreover, you will most likely be slapped with a no contact order (also commonly known as a restraining order). In the case of domestic violence cases, the legal standard of proof is required for one to be issued. Often times, these orders are issued on rather weak evidence. If you are the recipient of one of these orders, then you will be unable to contact the alleged victim. In marriages or other intimate partner relationships, this can severely hinder a parent’s ability to see their children.
In short, a single false allegation can ruin your life as you know it. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it cannot be stressed enough the importance of contact a professional and experienced Massachusetts domestic violence attorney. When you chose to contact our firm, you will be able to rest assured that we will fight, on your behalf, to protect your civil rights and your interests. The falsely accused need to have an advocate in their corner that will provide their voice in the courtroom.
[i] Jane Doe Inc. (2007). DVAM 2006 Statistics– Massachusetts. Boston, MA: The Massachusetts Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
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