People arrested for domestic assault or battery need to take the charges very seriously as a conviction may mean serious consequences for their futures.
Individuals facing domestic violence charges in Massachusetts should familiarize themselves with the state-mandated penalties before attending their court dates.
What is domestic violence?
In Massachusetts, domestic violence is an assault and battery on someone with a certain relationship to the accused. The other person is either a spouse or former spouse, has a child in common, relation by blood or marriage or has a significant dating relationship.
This crime, also called domestic abuse, includes physical harm, inflicting fear of imminent physical harm and attempts to cause physical harm between household and family members
The state also counts a violation of a protective order as a crime. A protective order is a court order that requires a person to stay away from and cease all contact with another person.
What are the penalties of domestic violence?
Someone arrested on a domestic violence offense remains in jail for at least six hours. A judge considers the safety of the other person involved when deciding bail for the accused.
A first offense domestic violence charge is punishable by a jail sentence of up to two-and-a-half years and a $5,000 fine. A second offense introduces a maximum five year prison sentence or a two-and-a-half year sentence in the House of Corrections. The prosecutors may charge the accused with a felony offense if there was a weapon involved.
Domestic violence offenses also carry penalties that affect weapon ownership and immigration statuses.