Massachusetts Domestic Violence All Too Common

Sometimes, when you are faced with a difficult issue, the most important thing you can do is to talk about “it.” No matter what “it” is. And this is certainly true with Massachusetts domestic violence charges.

Some people believe that Massachusetts domestic violence is the most predictable of crimes – and thus, probably the most preventable. Last year there were 24 Massachusetts domestic violence homicides, according to the organization Jane Doe Inc. Jane Doe’s membership is comprised of 60 community-based sexual and domestic violence organizations in Massachusetts. Last week, according to figures for 2012, the number of domestic homicide victims in Massachusetts was up to five.

And over this past weekend, the number was up to six, if you count the apparent murder-suicide on Sunday of a Hopkinton couple that made headlines.

As a Massachusetts domestic violence attorney, I know that domestic violence is one of the most common Massachusetts crimes. It poses special problems for defendants. For example, most people don’t realize that their local police department probably has a “zero tolerance/mandatory arrest policy” if they are called to a place where charges of domestic violence have been made.

Nowadays, this is a standard approach by most police departments when they are investigating allegations of domestic violence that take place in the home (between members of the same family living under the very same roof,) or between dating partners. Police departments will err on the side of caution, and arrest the person in the household who seems to be more believable. Hence, people need to be careful not to let heated arguments “get out of control.”