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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16317
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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So a few months back my boyfriend and I picked up ha domestic

Customer Question

So a few months back my boyfriend and I picked up ha domestic case. An unknown person called police when they saw him hit me. This happened on 2 dif occasions. I never admitted to him hitting me I kept my mouth closed. Now the courts have picked up the case and decided to have another hearing even though I'm not pressing charges nor admit to anything. Yesterday we had an argument and he broke my phone and took my car keys. I went to my local fire station and told thm what happened and they called police. I'm afraid tht this will be added to the domestic case that we are trying to close. What should I do? I can't make it to court I'm sick in hospital but I will write a letter. I just don't know what to say. Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello there -- My name is ***** ***** I will assist you this morning. Please bear with me for a few minutes while I review your question to determine if I have any questions of my own for you. THANK YOU ~
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. Have both of the other cases been put together as one case to be heard on the same day (the previous case(s) I mean -- not the new one)?Have you been put on the witness stand and question under oath by the prosecutor at this point yet on the other two cases or have they just been continued to new dates on several occasions?
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello there -- are you still with me at this time in live chat?
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, if you have responded to my questions, I am not able to view any of your answers. Can you please respond again? Also, I am in Massachusetts and practice here
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again --
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First and foremost, however, is the testimony of the alleged victim of the abuse and whether or not the ADA can get you to confirm that the alleged abuse actually happened or not. So far, it sounds to me like you have been doing everything correctly regarding your court appearances and what you have stated to the ADA's office -- meaning that you continue to deny that there was any abuse at all. My suggestion here is that you continue to deny that any abuse occurred and what the "witnesses" who called authorities actually saw was nothing more than horsing around or "horseplay " between the two of you and while it might have looked like something more than that was happening, it was not. If the entire matter had stopped right there with just the two charges, you could continue on with your testimony and convictions to the ADA and the court that the two of you were doing nothing more than goofing around and that to a person or persons who do not know the both of you, it might have looked worse than it was. The ADA would have had no choice but to drop the charges unless you would confirm that the alleged abuse actually happened OR they had the matter or both matters on videotape that they could show to the court (if they were able to obtain surveillance footage from some stores or other commercial buildings nearby and whether or not they actually go this far will all depend upon how far the particular ADA who is handling the case would like to take the matter). However, overall, I believe that because you were NOT the complaining witness in this matter, that so long as you continued to deny anything more than horseplay or goofing around happened, the charges would have eventually been dropped by the ADA.
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But now you have this third charge brought up against him and if it is in the same county as the first two charges, the cases will be consolidated together. My suggestion here is that if you truly want this third set of charges to be dropped against the person (along with the first two sets of charges) that you continue to use the "horseplay" and "goofing around" explanation of what happened and you might have been accidentally bumped or hurt so you went to the nearest fire department in order to seek treatment if you needed it. My thought here is that the ADA will most likely bring in the fire personnel that you spoke with as witnesses to try to prove the case that this person was and is actually abusing you and the ADA will most likely try to convince the court that you are simply so afraid of this person that you will say anything to get these matters dropped in order to avoid additional bad situations for yourself. (Only you can ask for a restraining order under MGL ch 209 - protection from abuse -- and if you do not want one, the court may order a temporary restraining order for ten days or so, but the court cannot place a permanent order into the record unless you want such an order and testify under oath that you are being abused and want the order to be issued).
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Many alleged victims in such situations will simply make themselves scarce and not appear at the hearings or the trial, but if the ADA really wants to press the matter, he or she can issue a subpoena against you and then if you fail to appear you can be placed under arrest in what is called "protective custody" as a material witness in the case. Whether or not the ADA will go that far depends upon their own personal convictions in such cases (truly, it is a matter of personal discretion). In most cases where the alleged victim appears at court once or twice and then has a continual spotty record of appearing, the case gets dragged out and dragged out and then the attorney for the defendant begins to ask for the case to be dismissed because the defendant DOES have the right to a speedy trial (usually a year from the arrest to the opening of the trial is considered timely in Massachusetts unless both sides agree to continuances), So, whether or not to appear in these matters is completely up to you but that is about the only way that there is a chance that all of the matters will be outright dismissed by the court. As an officer of the court I cannot outright tell you not to appear in any matter in which you are subpoenaed to appear, but I can tell you that many of these cases are eventually dismissed because the ADA feels that even given the evidence that they DO have against the defendant, that they truly need your testimony.
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If you decide that appearing here and there and then not appearing at all is your response, then I do suggest that you do not write a letter to the ADA or the court at this point regarding these matters in an effort to try to alleviate the situation or to get them to drop the charges. It will most certainly look like you are trying not to testify and that the defendant forced you to write to the judge and the ADA to get the case dropped (which never works because, as I said earlier, the ADA can move forward completely without your testimony or presence if he or she chooses to do so as long as the ADA has enough other evidence on which to build a case against the defendant). If there is a court hearing date that is scheduled while you are in the hospital, you CAN contact the clerk's office at the court where the matter is taking place and let them know that you are in the hospital and cannot make it to the next upcoming hearing date (you can get a doctor note for that I am certain).
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You have a lot to think over. Please let me know if you have further questions in these matters and I am happy to answer them. If not, can you please press a positive rating underneath this ANSWER box so I will be paid for my time? I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional money -- it is just the trigger used by this website to pay me for my time assisting you this morning.
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Finally, so long as you press a positive rating below you can then request that this question be LOCKED by customer service from public view. You see, because Just Answer is an online website, anyone using the right search terms could get access to this conversation and if you are contemplating strategy not to have to appear in a court proceeding, I suggest that you press a positive rating and ask that this be locked by customer service as soon as you have asked any additional questions that you might have and I have answered them. YOU can also ask that the question be reopened at a later date in order to ask any follow up questions regarding this matter if you need to do so (your question does not close, even if you and I have locked it) -- however, only YOU can ask that it be reopened (I cannot do that myself -- and if you ask a follow up question, you then have to make a request again that the question be Locked a second time (and so on)). Otherwise, you can post additional questions and ask to have the question forwarded to MARY LEGALEASE or start your question with FOR MARY LEGALEASE and then type in the rest of the question and the moderators and other experts will make sure that it gets directed to me (even if it takes a few hours for me to respond - I am online for some part of everyday and I will see any additional postings here or any new questions and it might be helpful to you at this point to be in touch with a MA attorney !).
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Again, please let me know if there is anything additional I can tell you of at this time. BEST OF LUCK
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MARY
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Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again --
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I note that you reviewed the answers that I gave to you this morning and have not yet pressed a positive rating in the ratings section. Aside from the fact that I will be paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating under this ANSWER box (we do not receive paychecks and are paid only when a customer presses a positive rating), you cannot lock this question and answer session from public view unless you press a positive rating under this answer box. While I am terribly sorry to be the one to have to deliver disappointing news (that the ADA can continue the case and proceed to prosecute without your testimony if he can find enough additional evidence of abuse without you), I did give you some valuable suggestions and I am hoping that you will not take out any frustration that you may feel at the current state of the law on me and refuse to rate the response so I will never be paid for assisting you. One of the reasons why I continue on with answering questions is because I am able to assist people who would otherwise not be able to afford a lawyer for a much smaller fee. However, I cannot continue to help others unless the customers who ask questions and receive correct (albeit potentially disappointing) answers press a positive rating so that I will be paid for at least a small amount of time spent assisting. Pressing a positive rating will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH
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MARY
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