When people become older in Massachusetts, they may need to rely on others to take care of them. Sometimes, their caretakers are family members, while other times there are strangers appointed as their legal guardians. Even when elders are not assaulted at home, they are often attacked while out in public. This spring, CNN reported that there was a 75.4% increase in nonfatal assaults of men over 60 years old between 2007 and 2016. For women in the same category, assault had also increased by 35.4%.
As the most populous state in the New England region, Massachusetts’ culture is strongly influenced by human interactions. Unfortunately, not all of these interactions are pleasant or fruitful. From kindergarten to college to the workplace to online media and even at home, bullying is a serious problem. In fact, CNN believes it is now a public health concern all across America.
The Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women has made major changes to how it defines domestic violence. These changes roll back Obama-era definitions that were expansive and decidedly favored the prosecution. The most notable change was to categorize domestic violence as a felony or misdemeanor criminal act that involves physical assault or sexual violence by an intimate partner or spouse. It may also involve a person living under the same roof or individuals who share children. It can apply to either an adult or a minor.
Going to court can be intimidating, especially if your court date involves domestic violence allegations. Most people only know about courtroom proceedings from movies or television. This leaves room for a lot of misconceptions. Your hearing will run much more smoothly if you have an idea of what to expect and how to prepare.
When you are working with your attorney to prepare for an assault trial, you will probably go over possible defenses that you can use in court. Every court case is different, and your trial will have its own unique circumstances. But in an assault case, there are a few common defense arguments that you may wish to present.
Maybe you have been in this situation: You are having a few rounds at a bar when another customer starts to get aggressive. He starts out by aggravating and insulting you, and his behavior keeps escalating. It seems like he is trying to start a physical altercation.
We often hear the terms “assault and battery” together— used in common speech, reported on the news, and discussed regarding criminal charges. The two crimes may seem similar at first, and that is partially because some states frequently charge one offense in conjunction with the other. Assault and battery, however, are two separate crimes that have different definitions.
Tensions regarding race and violence by and to police have made it a volatile, emotional time in our history. Some of you may be personally impacted by events tied to the fights of "Black Lives Matter" and the twist on that slogan, "Blue Lives Matter."
Earlier this week, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine a bill recently filed by Governor Charlie Baker, as well as a companion bill filed by Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn), that would greatly increase the penalties for committing an assault and battery upon a police officer.
Our criminal defense lawyers have consistently stressed the importance of domestic violence suspects acting swiftly to defend themselves. A conviction in Massachusetts has a severe impact on a person's rights. Now, there is even further evidence supporting the importance of working with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if accused of domestic abuse.