Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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Earlier this month, Massachusetts enacted the “Act Relative to Domestic Violence”. Though arguably the intent of the act is in good faith, it has very profound and serious implications on those defendants charged with a domestic violence offense in Massachusetts, directly altering the landscape at a defendant’s arraignment and bail, as well as the potential criminal penalties a defendant may face.

There are now dramatic changes to the domestic violence laws in Massachusetts, including new criminal domestic violence charges; changes to issues concerning bail, release upon arrest, and detention hearings; as well as issues affecting the person’s CORI information.

First, persons who are charged with a criminal offense that involves ‘domestic abuse’ are not eligible for release or bail within 6 hours from their arrest (unless the release or conditions of bail are imposed directly from a judge in court).

Second, at the person’s arraignment, the court must now inquire of the Commonwealth whether the purported domestic abuse occurred at or about the time of the alleged crime. If so, the prosecutor is required to file a written statement with the court and the judge must also make written findings that domestic abuse is alleged. These “findings” are to then be kept in a “statewide domestic violence” database. Despite the fact that the defendant is presumed to be innocent, the person’s name will not be removed from this database unless the person is acquitted or a grand jury returns a “no bill” or rejects a proposed indictment. Even a dismissal of the case will not remove the person’s name from this database under the new law.

Although this statement may not be used in any grand jury proceeding or investigation, nor by “the Commonwealth related to the crime for which the person was brought before the court“, the Act leaves open whether this statement may be admissible in other criminal or civil matters, such as for “prior bad act evidence”. Ridiculous…

Third, issues of bail. In addressing whether the person charged should be released on his own personal recognizance or if conditions of bail should be set, the Act also permits judges to consider the safety of the purported victim and/or others in the community. Inevitably, judges now facing requests by prosecutors to set bail and other conditions of release, will lean towards setting bail, higher bail and/or additional conditions of release that would not otherwise been imposed prior to the enactment of this Act.

In the past, if a defendant while released on bail was charged with another criminal offense, his bail could have been revoked and he could have been held in custody for up to 60 days. Now, persons released on conditions of bail on domestic abuse charges who fail to abide by their conditions of bail are now subject to a 90 day revocation of their bail.

Additionally, as far as Dangerousness Hearings go, a defendant who is deemed to be ‘dangerous’ so that no conditions of release can reasonably assure the safety of the community will be held for a period of up to 120 days.

In dangerousness hearings, it is typical to summons in witnesses, including the victim, to contest whether holding the defendant without bail is appropriate. Under the new Act, defense counsel may not summons in the victim of a crime without first obtaining permission from the court and establishing a “reasonable belief…that the testimony will be material and relevant to support a finding that there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.” Not only does this now infringe upon a defendant’s constitutional rights to be afforded a full opportunity to produce witnesses, but also infringes on the person’s right to present evidence on his behalf.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Domestic Violence Charges. To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Submit a Contact Request or call 617-325-9500.

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court considered the case of Silva v. Carmel, and decided that an abuse prevention order may issue where the defendant and victim live in the same state facility may not issue.

Both the defendant and the victim in this case were intellectually disabled persons who both resided at the same state-residential facility of the Department of Developmental Services. Following an altercation where the defendant pushed the victim into a bathtub and caused her injuries, the victim applied for and obtained a restraining order from a district court judge. The order was issued for one year following the judge’s finding that both parties resided in the same “household”.

On appeal, the SJC agreed with the defendant that the district court judge was mistaken in issuing the restraining order because the parties (1) did not reside together in the same household as contemplated by the statute; and (2) the relationship of the parties was not of the type the abuse prevention statute set out to protect.

In rationalizing its decision, the Supreme Judicial Court explained that the statute governing an abuse prevention order seeks to protect individuals from abuse by family or “household members” (persons who are married; have children together; reside in the same household; related by blood or marriage, etc.). Persons who simply reside in the same state-run facility do not meet the definition of ‘household members’ because they are connected solely because of their individualized treatment plans, not because of any family connection.

The Supreme Judicial Court also declined to extend the definition of “household members” to include persons living in state-run facilities because doing so might interfere with a department’s to implement service plans and client needs. Additionally, the court was constrained by the definition of “household member” as defined in the statute by the legislature.

Ultimately, the SJC reiterated that the abuse prevention statute’s goal is to prevent abuse or violence within the family unit. It was not enacted to apply to random acts of violence by strangers, or even friend-type relationships.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that persons who are abused or victims of violence by non-household members cannot obtain a restraining order against that person. The Massachusetts Legislature has provided for a mechanism to obtain civil restraining orders against people who are not family or “household” members.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for free consultation.

Contact Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis or call 617-325-9500.

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A man who used to reside in Lowell was arrested on a fugitive warrant in New York and returned to Massachusetts to face Violent Crime Charges relative to a 2011 home invasion in Lowell.

The defendant, Samuel Merced, 22, was arraigned in Lowell District Court and charged with Home Invasion, Assault & Battery, Intimidation of a Witness, Malicious Destruction of Property and Violation of Abuse Prevention Order.

According to the Lowell Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the defendant allegedly assaulted his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the summer of 2011, grabbing her by the jaw and threatening her with a knife. At the time, there was reportedly an active restraining order in place.

When officers responded to the scene, they allege that they approached the defendant, who gave them a false name and resisted arrest. He was also reportedly on probation at the time of the offenses prior to defaulting on the case when he allegedly fled the state.

Although the issuance of a restraining order against a person is a civil action (and not criminal), an alleged violation of an issued restraining order is a criminal offense.

The criminal offense of Violation of Restraining Order is punishable by up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections. Additionally, a person convicted for this offense must also complete a certified batterer’s intervention program. Completion of a batterer’s program is mandated by statute and can only be waived if the court issues findings detailing the reasons why the batterer’s program should not be ordered; or the batterer’s program otherwise determines that the defendant is not suitable for intervention.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully defended persons charged with various Massachusetts Crimes of Violence and is available 24/7 for consultation.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney or call 617-325-9500.

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ramirez.jpgManny Ramirez, formerly outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, was arrested this morning at his home Florida home on Domestic Violence Charges agains his wife, Juliana Ramirez. He was expected to be arraigned this morning charges of Assault & Battery.

According to the police, Juliana Ramirez alleged that Manny Ramirez hit her with an open hand with enough force to cause her head to hit the headboard of the bed. Police also reported observing visible injuries on Ms. Ramirez’ face, noting that it was red and swollen, and also had a bump on the back of her head.

The former Boston Red Sox player denied the allegations.

Assault & Battery in Massachusetts carries a potential penalty of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections. In order to be convicted of Assault & Battery, the prosecutor has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused intentionally committed a touching, however slight; that the touching was harmful or offensive; and was committed without justification or excuse.

In many Domestic Violence Cases in Massachusetts, alleged victims of these crimes may also seek to obtain Restraining Orders against the person they claim assaulted them. Restraining Orders are often issued by a judge in the Massachusetts District Courts or the Family Court.

With regard to the issuance of an Emergency Restraining Order, the standard is relatively low, and in many cases, is too easily issued upon the application of the person seeking it. Once an emergency Restraining Order is issued, the defendant would be served but would then be afforded a hearing in order to contest the order, typically 14-15 days following its issuance.

Once a Restraining Order is issued, there could also be many collateral consequences. For example, the order prohibit the person from returning to his/her home; from seeing his/her children; or even include an order to pay temporary child support.

Additionally, if a person violated the terms of a Restraining Order, he/she could also be charged with the additional crime of Violation of Abuse Prevention Order, which carries a penalty of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Domestic Violence Crimes, including Assault & Battery.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Emanuel Quadros, 32, was arrested this past Tuesday on Massachusetts Domestic Violence Charges after he allegedly assaulted his 3 week old infant son. Quadros was charged with Aggravated Assault & Battery, Causing Serious Injuries.

According to the Lawrence Police Department, Emanuel Quadros allegedly admitted to striking and injuring his infant son last May, which left the child with broken ribs and permanent brain injuries resulting in blindness and possible confinement to a wheelchair.

Quadros was arraigned yesterday in Lawrence District Court and held on $75,000 cash bail.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Domestic Violence Charges, including Aggravated Assault & Battery.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Erica Ryan Transit police.jpgErica Ryan was arrested yesterday on Massachusetts Violent Crimes Charges after she allegedly punched her two year old son on an MBTA bus. She was arraigned this morning in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court on the charge of Aggravated Assault & Battery.

According to MBTA Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Erica Ryan was on an MBTA in Roxbury with her 2 year old son yesterday afternoon. After the child refused to eat what Ryan was attempting to feed him, Ryan allegedly punched the child in the mouth with a closed fist. Witnesses on the bus described Ryan as allegedly winding up and punching the child in the face with full force, causing the child’s head to snap back into the stroller. Police officers who arrived on scene reportedly observed dried blood on the child’s mouth.

After the alleged assault, Erica Ryan reportedly tried to get off the bus with the baby, but was confronted by other passenger who had witnesses the incident. The bus driver called the police and the other passengers held Ryan at bay until the police arrived. Suffolk County prosecutors represented that the incident was recorded on the bus’ surveillance system.

Following Erica Ryan’s arraignment in Roxbury District Court, she was held on $500 bail.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Assault & Battery and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis may also be reached at lefteris@travayiakis.com.

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Dario Finkel, 26, of Salem, Massachusetts, was charged on several Crimes of Violence and Domestic Violence Charges for the alleged Attempted Murder of his 7 week old son.

According to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Salem Police Officers responded to Finkel’s home, along with paramedics, and determined that Dario Finkel allegedly stuffed a baby wipe in the infant’s mouth to get him to stop crying. Finkel also allegedly dropped the infant to the floor and threw him. According to paramedics who responded to the home and evaluated the baby, there was bruising on the baby’s stomach and upper link.

Finkel was arraigned in Salem District Court and charged with Attempt to Commit Murder, Reckless Endangerment of a Child, Aggravated Assault & Battery, and Domestic Violence Charges. Following his arraignment, he was held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, as well as Domestic Violence Charges.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Violent Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A Boston Police Officer has been charged with two counts of Assault & Battery arising from a domestic altercation that involved his wife and mother-in-law last weekend.

David Marchant, 26, of Dorchester and a patrolman for the Boston Police Department, was arraigned on two charges of Assault & Battery. A not guilty plea was entered at his arraignment, and he was released on $200 cash bail.

According to the Boston Police Department, Marchant allegedly returned home with his wife after a night out and began arguing. As the argument escalated, Marchant allegedly pushed and slapped his wife, at which point his mother-in-law tried to diffuse things. Marchant then allegedly pushed her. The argument between Marchant and his wife allegedly continued to the second floor, and it was reported that he again slapped his wife, which caused her to fall down a flight of stairs. Believing her daughter was unconscious as a result of the fall, the mother-in-law called 911.

Following his arraignment, the Boston Police Department reported that the officer had been placed on administrative duty and has taken his department-issued firearm and ammunition pending the Boston Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigation.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis represents persons accused of all felony crimes, including those involving Domestic Violence Charges, such as Assault & Battery.

To schedule a Free Consultation with a Boston Domestic Violence Lawyer, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.

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John Reilly, 60, was arrested by police this weekend for allegedly trying to strangle his wife. The incident occurred this past Friday at Massachusetts General Hospital where his wife was a patient.

According to police, Reilly was allegedly observed by hospital staff shaking and pushing his wife up and down while holding her by the neck. No information regarding his wife’s injuries were disclosed by the police, nor what prompted the alleged attack.

Reilly is scheduled to be arraigned this week at Boston Municipal Court on charges including Attempted Murder and Assault & Battery.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons charged with the crimes of Attempted Murder, Assault & Battery and other Crimes of Violence.

To schedule a Free Consultation and to discuss your criminal case with Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.