Lowell Massachusetts Man Faces Attempted Murder And Related Charges Stemming From A Domestic Dispute
The Lowell Sun reports that 29 year old Marco P. DaSilva, has been held without bail as a result of an incident of domestic violence involving his wife. According to the Sun, DaSilva and his wife have been experiencing marital difficulties over the past months. On April 3rd DaSilva came home drunk and an argument ensued when he and his wife argued about the fact that she suspected him of having an affair. The paper reports that the argument became physical and when the police arrived at the home DaSilva's wife has a large bruise on her neck and the house was in disarray. DaSilva was arraigned in the Lowell District Court and charged with attempted murder, assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon and intimidating a witness.
This type of case is often categorized as a case of "domestic violence." In Massachusetts, a spouse cannot be forced to testify against his or her spouse. This is called the "marital privilege." However, the privilege is a "trial privilege" and many counties are insisting that a case be marked for trial in order for a spouse to assert the "privilege." Also, prosecutors can force a spouse to testify in front of a grand jury because it is not a trial. However, even if the grand jury returns and indictment, the spouse still cannot be forced to testify at a trial.
Cases of domestic assault can be dismissed if a spouse asserts his or her privilege and the Commonwealth does not have any other evidence. The types of evidence that a District Attorney's Office often tries to introduce into evidence even if a spouse does not testify include a statement of the defendant, a "911" or "turrett tape," pictures of injuries, medical records and any other independent witness testimony.
If you have been charged with a case of domestic assault and battery it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Filing appropriate motions to dismiss and exclude evidence can often be the difference between walking away from the charges and being convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.