Any close living situation may eventually cause agitation and strife between those people living together. And in some cases, the situation reaches a boiling point and people start to lash out, sometimes even violently. When violence occurs within the home, it is considered domestic assault. In the middle of a heated moment, it can be hard to keep sight of the fact that you love your family members or your children.
If the police are called to a home for a reported domestic assault, in addition to arresting the person who is perpetrating the domestic assault, they will also notify the Department of Children and Families with a 51A report if children were present at the time of the assault. The DCF is notified because there is concern that if there is a domestic assault in the family home, there may also be instances of potential child abuse.
Child abuse and neglect, or even the mere possibility that it could be happening, is a serious matter. Massachusetts law goes to great lengths to protect children. In fact, the law provides for mandatory reporting of potential child abuse by people who hold certain professional positions. For instance, the police are mandated reporters, meaning they are required to report any instances of potential child abuse or neglect. Other professionals who are mandated reporters include any licensed medical professional, teachers and other education providers including early education and childcare providers, emergency services personnel and clergy members.
What is the DCF?
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) is a state agency whose primary responsibilities include protecting children from abuse and neglect, ensuring the safety of children, and strengthening families. The DCF works very hard to keep children that are receiving DCF services in their homes, but on occasion, the DCF will have to intervene in a family situation to ensure the safety of the child or children. The DCF is responsible for providing programs such as adoption, guardianships, foster care, adolescent services and providing programs to help stabilize and preserve families.
Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney
When the heat of anger takes hold in a person, it can cause them to act in strange ways. With that said, domestic assault can happen in any home, anywhere. If you have been arrested for committing a domestic assault against a family member, whether it is a spouse, relative or your child, you will need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Domestic assault and battery charges are not something you want to try to defend against on your own.
You need legal counsel who will help you get through your legal proceedings and will work as hard as possible to get you the best outcome for you based on the facts of your case.