This is the next post in our series on the handling of Boston, Massachusetts domestic violence charges. Our last article discussed defending against false allegations of domestic assault. It is important to understand that, sadly, false claims are sometimes made in cases where one party is attempting to gain an advantage in child custody proceedings. Defendants must take such matters very seriously, even if the claims are false. The first step in ensuring that your case is handled properly is to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In this article we will discuss the process which one faces after an arrest. If you are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with an attorney.
The first step after an arrest is for the defendant to attend an “arraignment.” This is a hearing at which the defendant will enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” After a not guilty plea is entered, a trial date will be set. Several events will occur between arraignment and trial. First, defense counsel will receive the police reports, witness statements, and other evidence which the prosecution is required to provide under Brady v. Maryland. Second, counsel will launch an investigation into the matter. This investigation can include visiting the scene of the incident (if possible), interviewing witnesses, obtaining surveillance footage if the incident occurred in a public place, etc. Third, counsel will file any necessary Motions with the Court. These Motions may include requests to exclude statements which police obtained in violation of the accused’s Miranda rights, the exclusion of overly suggestive eyewitness identifications, etc. It is important to remember that the types of steps which an attorney will take, when preparing your defense, will always depend on the specific facts of your case.
If a resolution is not reached between the defendants and prosecutors, then the case will proceed to trial. We will discuss the trial process in a subsequent article. If the defendant is acquitted at trial then the case will be over. If, however, the defendant is convicted, then they will face up to two and one-half years in prison. This penalty is in addition to fines, the requirement of attending anger management classes, and more. Also, a conviction will mean that one will be prohibited from possessing a firearm, for the rest of their life, under 18 U.S.C. 922. These potential penalties may be enhanced if the incident resulted in substantial harm to the victim and/or a weapon was used in the commission of the offense.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence then it is vital that you contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer immediately. A conviction can have a devastating impact on your future. It is, therefore, vital that you take steps to protect your interests. Our attorneys handle such matters and they take pride in providing a high level of service. Call today to schedule an initial consultation. We also assist Massachusetts residents in the Middlesex County cities of Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, and Newton, as well as those in the cities of Worcester, Brockton, Quincy, and Lynn.