Domestic violence usually involves physical and/or emotional violence between husband/wife, domestic partners, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-spouses, ex-partners, people who have children together, or family members). The main source of law governing domestic violence is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A – Abuse Prevention.

In Massachusetts, domestic abuse allegations result in a mandatory arrest. Domestic violence charges cannot be dismissed simply by the alleged victim recanting their statement or deciding not to press charges, the decision to dismiss the charge is not up to the victim, it is up to the prosecution. In some cases the prosecution can force a victim to testify against their will. A conviction for domestic violence can lead to financial penalties, jail time, losing temporary child custody or visitation rights, jeopardize immigration status and have a number of personal and professional consequences. It is important not to underestimate the seriousness of a domestic violence charge or violation of abuse prevention order charge. Seek qualified legal counsel early on to avoid any errors that may harm your case in the long run.