A Georgetown Police Officer was charged with domestic assault and battery and intimidation of a witness in the Haverhill District Court last week. The defendant is Garrett Barber of Groveland, Massachusetts. Barber spent thirteen years as a reserve officer before becoming a full-time policeman one year ago. As a condition of his release Barber has been ordered to stay away from the victim. The Haverhill Court judge also required him to surrender all weapons and permits to carry firearms. The defendant is on paid leave from the police department pending the disposition of the case and a Georgetown Police Department internal affairs investigation.
Here is a look at the charges:
Domestic Assault and Battery. The name itself is somewhat misleading. The law makes it a crime to assault or assault and beat anyone. There is a potential 2 1/2 year jail sentence if you are convicted of this crime in Massachusetts. There is an aggravated form of this crime that gives rise to a potential 5 year prison sentence if the assault and battery 1) results in serious bodily injury, 2) is committed in a pregnant person or 3) is committed in violation of a restraining order or a “no contact” order. Barber now has a “no contact” order imposed against him. It is the third subsection of the aggravated form of assault and battery that is directed towards domestic violence yet the charges Barber faces have no application to this section in that prior to the incident there was no such order against him. Regardless, it is now commonplace in Massachusetts to refer to any assault and battery on a domestic partner as “domestic” assault and battery.
Intimidation of a Witness. This law is virtually self-explanatory. If you threaten, convey a gift, harass, mislead a witness in connection with a criminal matter and you are convicted of this crime you face up to 10 years in state prison. What is not stated in the reports yet apparent is that Barber in some way threatened the victim that if she reported the incident or testified against him in any way there would be consequences.
Defending domestic violence cases in Massachusetts and other states represents a large part of our practice. Once called to the scene police are typically quick to make an arrest. The person arrested is almost always the man, even if the circumstances of the case suggest that he was not criminally responsible for the act. Acting quickly by retaining the best criminal lawyer you can find is the best way to defend against allegations of domestic violence. Call our office now to discuss your case.
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