Recently in Domestic Violence Category

August 23, 2014

New Massachusetts Domestic Violence Act

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.

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April 29, 2014

SJC Rules Persons in Same Residential Facility Cannot Obtain Restraining Orders Against The Other

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.

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April 20, 2013

Lowell Fugitive Arrested and Charged in 2011 Home Invasion

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.

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September 14, 2011

Former Boston Red Sox Player Manny Ramirez Arrested for Assault & Battery

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.

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August 4, 2011

Lawrence Man Arrested for Assaulting & Blinding Infant Son

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.

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August 3, 2011

Boston Woman Charged With Assault & Battery on 2 Year Old Child

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.

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April 20, 2011

Salem Father Charged with Attempted Murder of 7 Week Old Infant

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.

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October 27, 2010

Boston Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Violence: Charged with Assault & Battery

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.

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May 30, 2010

Husband Arrested for Attempted Murder for Strangling Wife at Massachusetts General Hospital

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.

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