Will a domestic assault and battery charged be dismissed if my wife does not wish to press charges?

As a Massachusetts criminal lawyer, the most frequently asked question regarding domestic assault and battery charges is will the case be dismissed if the victim does not wish to go forward. Criminal charges in Massachusetts are brought on behalf of the Commonwealth; once charges are brought it is no longer up to the victim to decide whether to prosecute the case.

In the vast majority of domestic assault and battery cases, the alleged victim does not wish to testify. However, the Commonwealth will typically not dismiss the case on the first court date, but will try to prove the case in the following ways:

  1. The Commonwealth may compel the victim to testify; this can occur if the victim does not have any privilege not to testify such as a martial privilege or 5th Amendment privilege;
  2. The Commonwealth may rely on the testimony of another witness who saw the encounter;
  3. The Commonwealth may attempt to offer the 911 call into evidence. If this occurs an objection can be made that this evidence violates your Sixth Amendment Right of Confrontation.
  4. Through admissions or statements made by the defendant.

A domestic assault and battery charge is a difficulty case to resolve given that district attorneys have special prosecutors to handle these cases and the high profile these cases receive in the media.

What complicates a domestic assault and battery charge is that often a prosecutor will offer a very restrictive probation to a defendant that wishes to resolve the charge even if the defendant has little or no record. This probation typically is a supervised probation with the requirement that a defendant complete the Certified Batter's Program, which is a very intensive program that many have difficulty successfully completing.

Any charge of domestic assault and battery should not be taken lightly even if the alleged victim does not wish to prosecute the case.

To learn more about Domestic Assault and Battery charges, you can call 781-686-5924 to discuss your case. You should also read the about other frequently asked questions and the Court Process to understand what lies ahead in defending your case.

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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him
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A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
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Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
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Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
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I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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