Will Bail be required if I am charged with domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts?

A common question asked by those charged with domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts, is whether the court will require a cash bail. Bail in Massachusetts serves to ensure your appearance at court.

A court considers the following factors in setting bail:
  • The severity of the offense
  • Your criminal record
  • The potential punishment
  • Any history of drug abuse
  • Whether you have restraining orders against you
  • Strength of the Commonwealth’s case

The most important of these factors is your record and the severity of the offense.

If you have little or no record the court will release you on personal recognizance or your promise to appear in court. In considering the severity of the offense, the court will look review the police report and look to whether any injuries are alleged and the seriousness of the incident.

If you do not have a criminal record or history of domestic assault and battery convictions in Massachusetts, the prosecutor may ask for bail at which time your lawyer will have an opportunity to argue for your release on personal recognizance before the judge.

Do I need an attorney for the arraignment?

At an arraignment for a domestic assault and battery, it is advisable to have an attorney their for several reasons. First, some judges may find a question of bail based on the nature or severity of the incident even if you have no record; second, in some cases the victim is in court seeking a 209A Restraining Order, you can testify in opposition to this order, but in most cases, it is not in your best interest to do so and you should remain silent and allow the court to issue the order. Since the order is likely to be issued, you have little to gain by testifying.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about a domestic assault and battery charge in Massachusetts, you can call me directly at 781-686-5924.

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