How Does Massachusetts Define Domestic Violence? What Are The Criteria?
In Massachusetts, a domestic violence situation is any violent occurrence between two people who are married, were married, live together, have lived together, are related by blood or marriage, have children together, are currently in a dating relationship, or have been in a dating relationship.
When Police Are Called To The Scene Of An Alleged Domestic Violence Incident In Dorchester, Is An Arrest Always Going To Be Made?
When the police are called to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident, it is likely that an arrest will be made. The police are trained to remove a party when they get a domestic disturbance or domestic violence call. The only way they know how to do that is to arrest the person they think is at fault. Once they arrive and talk to all parties involved, a determination will be made based on who they believe and who to remove from the home. Upon a complaint of domestic violence, its’ a hard and fast rule that the two individuals cannot remain in the same location. The best way to do that is to arrest one of the parties.
Does An Alleged Physical Altercation Have To Have Taken Place In Order For An Arrest To Be Made? Or Is A Threat Of Violence Enough In Suffolk County To Make An Arrest?
In a domestic violence situation, a threat of violence is enough for an arrest to take place. When the police are called to the scene, they are looking for probable cause of a crime. Striking or hitting someone is not all that constitutes a crime. In regard to assault and battery as a criminal charge, it is actually two different things. A battery occurs when you hit someone. Assault is when you make a motion. Even if you do not intend to hit someone, but you make the person believe that they’re going to get hit, that is considered assault. You don’t touch them in an assault. Making threats by telling someone that you’re going to beat them up or punch them is a criminal offense in Massachusetts.
Therefore, you don’t need an actual physical altercation to make an arrest or support a charge of domestic violence. Making criminal threats, such as telling someone that you’re going to hurt them in some way, destroy their property, or hurt their children is assault. If you make a fist and pull your arm back like you’re about to punch someone, but don’t actually hit them, that’s also assault. That’s a crime, and it’s enough for the police to a) get involved, and b) remove you from the house. All of that falls within the realm of domestic violence, and it will support an arrest.
How Does Law Enforcement Determine Who The Aggressor Was? What If Both Parties Were Engaged In The Altercation Equally Or Physically?
Determining who the aggressor was in a domestic violence altercation is entirely up to discretion. The police are going to speak to both parties to make that determination. For instance, when the police enter a house because a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend were arguing, one of them contacted the police. The first thing they do is separate the two parties. Domestic violence situations will usually have more than one officer respond to the call. As such, one officer will be in the bedroom talking to the girlfriend, while the other officer is in the kitchen speaking with the boyfriend. They get statements from both parties, talk to each other, and pretty much make the determination as to who the aggressor was or posed more of a threat. Their determination is based on what they were told. They’re going to look at whether either party has marks on them, and whether they are worked up or in a heightened emotional state. They will assess the damage around the house. Were things broken? Were there kids around?
More often than not, the police will remove the male from the house rather than the female. Does that mean that they’re always going to remove the man? No. There are plenty of times when they remove the woman if she started a fight and became violent. However, it’s a toss-up. The police are going to do what they think is best. They’ll usually remove the man and probably take him into custody.
For more information on Domestic Violence In Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 718-5550 today.