Domestic abuse allegations can destroy your life. You may find yourself legally removed from your home and your family based only on accusations. If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, getting help from experienced legal counsel is crucial to improving your chances of a positive legal outcome.
Boston domestic violence attorney David Yannetti and his associates have extensive experience protecting the rights of individuals who have been accused of spousal abuse. As a former prosecutor, attorney Yannetti understands how domestic abuse cases are tried and defended. He will fight hard to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the criminal process.
Dedicated Representation in All Domestic Abuse Matters
The criminal defense lawyers at the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm provide dedicated representation in all domestic abuse matters.
Attorney Yannetti and his legal team will be there for you at every stage of the process. Mr. Yannetti will fight to get all of the charges against you reduced or dismissed. However, if your case is brought to trial, he understands how to mount an effective attack against the prosecution's evidence. When your reputation and your future are at stake, you need an experienced and skilled legal advocate.
Allegations of Domestic Abuse Result in Mandatory Arrest
Most people are unaware that their local police departments have a mandatory arrest policy when the police are called to a home for allegations of domestic violence. That means that if a neighbor calls 911 because a husband and wife are screaming at each other and causing a commotion next door, the police will go to that residence intending to arrest the more "culpable" one — however they view that. Sometimes a husband will literally "volunteer" to be arrested so that his wife can remain home with the kids. Other times, the police simply get it wrong.
An Alleged Victim Cannot Drop Criminal Charges
Most people are unaware that the alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not have the power to "drop the charges." Once a person is arrested and brought before a court for arraignment, the district attorney's office takes control of the case. Most prosecutors will never agree to dismiss domestic violence charges at an arraignment. That means that if you are charged with domestic assault and battery, or violation of a restraining order, or any other type of domestic violence, you should hire a good attorney to work toward ultimately getting the case dismissed.
If you are an alleged victim of domestic violence who is seeking to have criminal charges dropped against your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or relative, then you should be prepared to withstand a lot of pressure from the district attorney's office. Early in the process, you will likely be contacted by a victim-witness advocate from the district attorney's office. The advocate's job is to provide information to an alleged victim, as well as to get input from the alleged victim regarding his or her views about how the case should be handled. Oftentimes, a victim-witness advocate will try to convince an alleged victim to "go forward" with the charge, i.e., to testify against his or her loved one. An alleged victim who is unfamiliar with the justice system oftentimes winds up in a state of confusion. You should be aware that unless you are married to the person who is charged with the crime, the district attorney's office can likely force you to testify. The D.A.'s Office needs only to make sure that you have been served in hand with a subpoena. You may then be forced to appear in court and testify — or risk being jailed yourself for contempt.
Of course, there are other cases where charges of domestic violence are simply false. In many of these cases, there are parallel divorce proceedings where emotions are running high, custody of children is at issue, and restraining orders are being sought. Unscrupulous divorce attorneys will sometimes advise their clients to file a criminal charge of domestic violence against their former partner in order to gain leverage for them in a divorce action. If you have been charged with family violence or spousal abuse during a divorce case, you need a lawyer who can quickly assimilate the facts of the situation and protect your interests.
The Stakes Are Even Higher for Non-Citizens
For non-citizen spouses who wish to divorce but are fearful of being deported to their home country as a result, there is a large potential for abuse of the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA"). Simply by claiming to be a victim of domestic violence — even where the allegations are patently false — a non-citizen spouse may put herself or himself on a fast track toward obtaining a green card. In this way, our government has provided an incentive for someone to falsely claim domestic violence — to the detriment of the innocent spouse.
A charge of domestic violence or spousal abuse puts you at risk of having your private life become public information. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be sensitive to all aspects of your case, both inside and outside the courtroom. Your reputation and your future are at stake. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a domestic violence conviction could affect your immigration status and ultimately lead to deportation.
Seek Skilled Legal Help
A skillful defense lawyer can raise issues that may resolve a case without the necessity of going to trial and without the necessity of admitting to the charge or pleading guilty. The sensitive nature of these cases makes it all the more important that you retain a battle-tested attorney who will fight for you till the end.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Boston Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic abuse, you should seek legal advice immediately. Contact a lawyer online or call 617-338-6006 for a free phone consultation.
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