Domestic violence can be characterized as any physical harm, attempt to cause physical harm, inflicting fear of physical harm, or involuntary sexual relations between any family or household members. Family and household members include those people who are married or divorced, living together, related by blood, have children together, are dating or have previously dated.
A 209A Abuse Prevention Order (commonly referred to as a “restraining order”) can be filed by family or household members who are suffering from domestic violence. In some cases, the victim will file a petition for a protective order ex parte (without the knowledge of the abuser). The court will decide whether or not to issue the order based on the victim’s account of the abuse. If a temporary order is issued, the abuser will be served with the order and told to stay away from the victim. After a short period of time, generally ten days, the court will hold another hearing where both sides will appear. The court can either extend the order or dismiss it based on the testimony of both sides.
Punishment for violating a 209A Abuse Prevention Order:
While assault and battery is always a crime it is punishable more severely when committed against family and household members. Additionally, when the Defendant knows they have an Abuse Prevention Order against them, they are punished more severely if they commit an assault or battery against the victim protected by that Order.
Stalking is defined in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 265 § 43 as (1) willfully and maliciously engaging in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) making a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury. Stalking can be another form of domestic violence.
Whether you have been the victim of domestic violence, or have been charged with domestic violence, it is crucial to have a team behind you that specializes in both criminal & family law.
At Allen Law Group, PC, we are dedicated to help individuals facing serious accusations of domestic violence, as well as those that are vulnerable and need help seeking protection. The Attorneys at Allen Law Group have the knowledge and experience to get you the results you deserve.