Malden Domestic Assault and Battery Lawyer
If you have been charged with a domestic assault in battery in the Malden District Court it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Malden District Attorney’s office take these cases seriously and will not dismiss the charges even if the alleged victim does not want to testify. Often these cases must be scheduled for trial. It is important for you to understand the process for addressing a domestic assault and battery charge in the Malden District Court. The attorneys at DelSignore Law have extensive experience in handling these types of cases and have created this page to give you a better understanding of the process.WHERE WILL MY CASE BE HEARD?
If you have been charged with a domestic assault and battery in Malden, Melrose, Everett, and Wakefield your case will be heard in the Malden District Court. The Malden District Court is located at 89 Summer Street in Malden, MA 02148.
We understand that a pending criminal case places and enormous amount of stress on not only the person charged but their family as well. Most clients want to know that the case will be resolved as soon as possible. The time it will take to resolve a domestic assault and battery in Malden District Court is dependent on your specific case. However, the attorney’s at DelSignore Law work hard to ensure that cases as resolved as quickly as possible while pursuing a client’s bests interests. 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, which is often between 3-4 months. If we anticipate the case being a full trial this timeline may be longer but we will keep you updated on the process throughout and always provide you with honest timelines and expectations.WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO A 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 Malden 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.WILL THIS CHARGE IMPACT MY IMMIGRATION STATUS?
It is crucial that you understand that if you are not a citizen you should NEVER admit to a domestic assault and battery charge. A domestic assault and battery charge is considered a crime of moral turpitude and has the consequences of deportation and exclusion from the United States. For immigration purposes a CWOF (continuance without a finding) is the same as a conviction. IF you have been advised that accepting a CWOF will eventually lead to a dismissal and not be considered for immigration purposes you have received FALSE information. A CWOF has the same impact as a conviction for immigration purposes. In most instances a non-citizen should take the case to trial.
Learn more about DelSignore Law
This website was designed to answer your questions so that you can make an informed decision on the next step for your case. Although the pages on this website will give you an idea of what to expect, they are not specific to your particular case and it is important that you consult with an attorney to discuss your options. Contact us today at 781-686-5924 for your free initial consultation.