Violation Of An Abuse Prevention (209A) Order

It is a crime in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to violate an Abuse Prevention order, sometimes referred to as a 209A order. Read below to learn more about the commonwealth's burden of proof and your rights under the law.

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M.G.L. chapter 209A, Section 7

In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove the following four things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That a court had issued an order pursuant to chapter 209A;
  2. That such order was in effect on the date when its violation allegedly occurred;
  3. That the defendant violated the order by:
    1. abusing the plaintiff, or child included in the order
    2. contacting the plaintiff, or child included in the order (directly or indirectly)
    3. failing to stay a particular distance away from the plaintiff who requested the order or that person’s child
    4. failing to vacate or remain away from the household of the plaintiff, or child included in the order
    5. failing to remain away from the workplace or school of the plaintiff, or child included in the order
  4. That the defendant knew that the pertinent term(s) of the order (was) (were) in effect, either by having received a copy of the order or by having learned of the pertinent term(s) of the order in some other way.

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