Dedham Domestic Assault and Battery Attorney
If you have been charged with a domestic assault and battery in the Dedham District Court it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at DelSignore Law regularly appear in the Dedham District Court and have offices conveniently located in Dedham and Stoughton to easily meet with clients. We have extensive experience in assisting clients with domestic assault and battery charges and would be happy to discuss your case. This page is intended to answer a few commonly asked questions regarding domestic assault and battery charges in the Dedham District Court.WHERE WILL MY CASE BE HEARD?
The Dedham District Court is located at is located at 631 High Street and hears charges that originate in the following cities and towns:
- 5 Westwood
The Dedham District Court is located in the center of Dedham. There is available street parking and paid lots. On your first appearance in the Dedham District Court, otherwise known as your arraignment, you should try to arrive by 8:30 A.M. This is because you will need to check in with probation. You will only need to check in with probation on your first court date. The probation department is located on your right after you pass security. After you have checked in with probation you will be directed back to courtroom one which is directly opposite the entrance. Most if not all of your court dates will be heard in courtroom one. If your case is scheduled for trial you will need to report to courtroom three.WHAT IF THE “VICTIM” WANTS TO DROP THE CASE
This is the most frequently asked question we hear from people charged with domestic assault and battery. Domestic assault and battery arrests often occur after a heated argument at home. Often by the time you are arraigned the “victim” does not want to proceed any further with the case. However, it is important for you to understand that once the police are involved and an arrest is made, the victim is no longer in control of the charges. The Dedham District Attorney’s office will typically not dismiss the case just because the victim wants to “drop the charges”. The District Attorney’s office takes these charges seriously and you are facing strict penalties. There are however a variety of defenses an experienced domestic assault and battery attorney can employ to help you fight these charges.WHAT ARE SOME DEFENSES TO DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY CHARGES?
The attorneys at DelSignore Law have been very successful in defending clients charged with domestic assault and battery. There are a number of defenses in these types of cases. The defenses will vary based on whether the alleged victim is going to testify. If the alleged victim is expected to testify an experienced domestic assault and battery attorney will examine the facts in your case to determine if any of the following defenses apply in your case:
- Self-defense. In a self-defense case, a defense attorney can obtain prior violent acts of the alleged victim to argue that the victim was the aggressor. In the case of Commonwealth v. Adjutant, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allowed criminal defense attorneys to admit this evidence at trial to support a claim of self-defense.
- Fabrication by the victim. Many times, the victim of an assault and battery charge may have a motive to fabricate the charges in order to get back at the accused. This sometimes occurs during divorce proceedings, custody disputes or break up of relationships. If the victim does wish to proceed with the case, you will need to prepare a defense showing the motivation of the victim to fabricate in order to contest her testimony at trial.
- Ulterior motivation to lie or try to use the criminal process for some improper purpose.
If the alleged victim does not wish to testify at trial the court will need to evaluate whether the District Attorney’s office will be allowed to compel or force them to testify. There are certain circumstances where an alleged victim has a constitutional right NOT to testify. These include:
- Marital Privilege- with limited exceptions, a spouse cannot be compelled to testify against another spouse.
- 5th amendment Privilege- if there is some indication that the alleged victim committed a crime that they may disclose during their testimony they may be able to invoke their 5th amendment right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify
In Dedham these privileges are usually only allowed to be invoked on the trial date.
In cases where the alleged victim has a privilege and does not want to testify, the case will come down to other evidence in the case, including 911 calls or witness testimony. If the Commonwealth does not have these types of independent evidence, your attorney may be able to argue to the court that the charges should be dismissed on the trial date.WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE PENALTIES?
This is another question clients typically ask. The maximum penalty for a domestic assault and battery is imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment. Jail time on a case where you don’t have a significant prior record and where there are not serious injuries is unlikely but is a possibility.
A more likely disposition for a conviction on a first offense without serious injury is probation and an anger management or certified batterers program. This is not to be taken lightly. The certified batterers program is very expensive and time consuming. This is why it is so important to have an experienced defense attorney review your case and discuss possible defenses with you.HOW LONG DOES A DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY TAKE TO RESOLVE IN THE DEDHAM DISTRICT COURT?
The time it takes to resolve a domestic assault and battery in Dedham is dependent on your specific case. However, in most instances, the attorneys at DelSignore Law will be able to resolve your case in three to four months. If we have reason to believe the alleged victim does not want to proceed with the case we will try to schedule the case for trial as soon as possible, so you can get back to your life without the added stress of a criminal case.SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY TO DISCUSS YOUR CASE
The attorneys at DelSignore Law have an office located conveniently in Dedham, at 20 Eastbrook Rd #304 where we will be glad to discuss your case; office appointments can also be made at one of our three other office locations. Call 781-686-5924 anytime to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. We would be happy to help.