In the state of Massachusetts, domestic violence laws are designed to protect the following:
- people who are or have once been married
- individuals that have children together
- individuals that are related through marriage or by blood
- individuals who live together are have lived together, such as roommates
The elements of the crime of Assault requires the intent to commit physical harm against another individual and placing one in fear of injury or physical harm. Physical harm is not required. This means that a credible threat to commit physical harm can be considered an Assault.
The elements for the crime ofStalking also requirethe intent to cause physical harm or to inflict fear of physical harmin a household member. Repeatedly calling, emailing, or attempting to contact an individual after it was made clear they don’t want contact can be considered stalking. Stalking can cause injury if the victim has experienced severe emotional distress due to threats or the repeated attempts to make contact.
Possible Penalties of Domestic Assault:
- A first offense of assault can result in up to 2 years in prison and fines up to $1000
- A first offense of assault while a protective order is in place could result in 2-5 years imprisonment and up to $5000 in fines
- A second offense could result in 2-5 years imprisonment and felony charges depending on the circumstances
Possible Penalties of Domestic Stalking:
- The first offense could result in 2-5 years imprisonment and up to $1000 in fines
- The second offense could result in 2-10 years imprisonment
- Stalking while a victim is under a protective order can result in 1-5 years imprisonment
If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, please contact our office for consultation.