Over the years I have defended scores of people falsely accused of domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts. Many of these claims were made to gain an advantage in a collateral legal proceeding such as a divorce or a child custody dispute. Other times the claims originated when a scorned partner wanted to exact revenge on his or her significant other. Recently I have seen another trend. People living in this country illegally are abusing a policy of refusing to deport victims of domestic assault and battery. From a criminal defense perspective these cases are extremely difficult to defend. This post examines one such scenario and potential defenses to alleged violations of G.L. c. 265 Section 13M.
Domestic Assault and Battery and Marriage Fraud
In one case the defendant was twenty two years older than the complainant. He had never been married and was enjoying a successful business career in suburban Boston. He and the complainant met online. She was from and living in an Eastern European country and spoke limited English. She moved to Massachusetts to start a relationship with the man. The two dated for several months and then got married. The woman was never faithful to the defendant. She regularly “dated” men more her age. Eventually the woman’s status here became illegal. When the defendant learned of her infidelities he confronted her. She admitted to him that she used him for access to this country and for his money. He told her that he would be filing for divorce. She told him that if he did this she would file false criminal charges against him alleging domestic abuse.
Unconcerned about the threatened consequences the defendant filed for divorce. And, true to her word his wife contacted the police and made a complaint for assault and battery. Her efforts were well calculated. She texted him, inviting him over to “talk”. As soon as he arrived she started screaming at him. She went into a rage. She trashed their home by throwing things around and breaking anything she could. He left the home. She called 911 and claimed that he broke into the home, tore the place up and struck her several times. The police found our client and arrested him, charging him with domestic assault and battery, a G.L. c. 265 Section 13M violation.
How to Defend Domestic Assault and Battery
So how was this case defended? In many respects this client was very lucky. He had contacted us before this incident and told us about his wife’s threats. We made sure he documented this by maintaining a timeline and by preserving all threatening emails, texts and voicemails from her. After the encounter at the home, the accused immediately called 911 and told the police what she had done. The recording of that call was preserved. In addition, we were able to locate witnesses who confirmed that she had threatened these charges if our client filed for divorce.
If you are in a relationship and threatened with false complaints of domestic assault and battery, the time to get lawyer is now. Do not wait until after you have been charged to get representation. We have been defending people accused of crimes for nearly three decades. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or send us an email. We can help you.