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Can I be Held Without Bail For a Domestic Assault and Battery?

Generally, if you are charged with a first offense domestic assault and battery you will be released on a cash bail or on your own recognizance. This means the court will release you with the understanding that you will appear at every court date and that you will not commit any new offenses.

  • Those With no record will typically be released without having to post a cash bail.
  • The alleged victim may request a 209A restraining order or no contact order at the arraignment; in most cases, this will be issued.
What if you have a criminal record?

If you have prior domestic charges or if the facts of the offense are very serious, the prosecutor can request that you are held WITHOUT bail. At your arraignment the prosecutor can “move for dangerousness”.

This means that the prosecutor is filing a motion stating that your release would pose an imminent threat to the community and that there are no conditions, or less restrictive means other than incarceration that would ensure the safety of the community.

If the prosecutor requests a dangerousness hearing you can be held without bail for 3 to 7 days prior to the hearing and up to 120 days if the courts find you pose a danger to the community.

What happens next?

Typically, the judge will continue the matter for a short period of time to schedule a dangerousness hearing. If the judge makes a preliminary ruling that you pose a danger you will be held until the hearing date. At the hearing, the prosecutor will present evidence in the form of witness statements, police reports, testimony and your prior charges. The prosecutor will argue that your release will pose an imminent threat to the alleged victim and the community.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will cross examine any witnesses, challenge the prosecutor’s claims and will argue that less restrictive means such as pretrial conditions will ensure the community’s safety. These conditions could include: no contact with alleged victim (which will likely be a condition for any domestic charge), drug and alcohol free, or GPS monitoring.

If a finding of dangerousness is made, you will be held for 120 days. If you are held prior to trial you risk loss of freedom, employment and time with family.

How is a domestic dangerousness hearing different from another type of offense? box
What is the next step for someone who has been held without bail?

An experienced criminal defense attorney will cross examine any witnesses, challenge the prosecutor’s claims and will argue that less restrictive means such as pretrial conditions will ensure the community’s safety. These conditions could include: no contact with alleged victim (which will likely be a condition for any domestic charge), drug and alcohol free, or GPS monitoring.

If you have been charged with a domestic assault and battery call DelSignore Law to discuss your case at 781-686-5924.