domestic violence law on wooden table

In Massachusetts, domestic violence crimes are those which are committed against certain family or household members. These crimes include any felony or misdemeanor that constitutes domestic abuse, or domestic assault and battery.

Massachusetts introduced a law that distinguishes domestic assault and battery from other types of assault and battery and creates strict penalties for domestic crimes.

When Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

A domestic violence crime may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details of the crime and whether you have a previous domestic violence charge. If it is a first offense of domestic assault and battery, it is considered a misdemeanor. Under G.L. c.265, §13M, you can get up to two and a half years in jail and a possible $5,000 fine if you are convicted of domestic violence.

If it is a second offense, it is considered a felony. This offense carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison or two and a half years in a house of corrections.

In addition, the following offenses are considered felonies and are severe enough to merit prison time:

  • Subsequent offenses of domestic assault and battery
  • Domestic assault and battery that resulted in serious bodily harm or was committed along with another felony
  • Any assault and battery crime that involves the use of a dangerous weapon
  • Assault and battery of a pregnant person
  • Assault and battery on someone with a restraining order against the defendant
  • An assault and battery on a person over 60 or a disabled person

Will a Domestic Violence Charge Show on a Background Check? 

If you have been convicted of domestic violence, this will show up on a criminal background check. A conviction can result in job loss or denial, difficulties in finding employment, and the potential loss of educational opportunities.

When Is an Assault Considered a Domestic Assault? 

Under G.L. c.265, §13M, assault and battery on a family member in Massachusetts domestic occurs when the alleged victim is:

  • Your current or former spouse
  • A person with whom you have a child in common
  • A person with whom you have or had a substantive dating relationship

Contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan for Help

If you were charged with domestic violence, you will need the help of an experienced domestic assault attorney. The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan can help. Our legal team consists of former Massachusetts prosecutors who have extensive experience trying thousands of criminal cases in Superior and District courts. This advantage allows us to anticipate what our clients will be facing in court and the type of aggressive defense we will need to mount to protect our clients’ rights. With that knowledge, we can plan an effective defense.

Our attorneys understand what you are going through and are ready to talk to you. We can answer your questions and can discuss your legal rights and options. Call or contact us online today for a confidential case review.