Domestic Assault and Battery - Attorney Steven J. Topazio
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Domestic Assault and Battery


Attorney Steven Topazio successfully represented his client in a complex domestic assault and battery case. The client had been arrested for an alleged incident that occurred during a visitation dispute with his spouse. The case involved multiple trial delays, a dismissal for want of prosecution, a subsequent attempt by the Commonwealth to vacate the dismissal, and ultimately, the successful defense against a refiled complaint. Boston Attorney Topazio’s legal acumen and tenacious defense ultimately led to the case’s dismissal.

Case Facts

The case centered around an incident during a scheduled visitation between the client and his estranged spouse, who were in the midst of a divorce. The client arrived at the spouse’s residence for his visitation with their child but was denied access because he had arrived half an hour earlier than scheduled. In frustration, the client pushed past his spouse, prompting a call to the police and his subsequent arrest for domestic assault and battery.

Legal Proceedings

The legal proceedings in this case were marked by several significant developments

1. Multiple Trial Delays: The case was scheduled for trial multiple times, but each time, the Commonwealth reported that it was not ready for trial, alleging that the spouse had left the country.

2. Dismissal for Want of Prosecution: On the last scheduled trial date, the case was dismissed for want of prosecution because the Commonwealth continued to report unavailability of the spouse.

3. Commonwealth’s Motion to Vacate Dismissal: Following the dismissal, the Commonwealth filed a motion to vacate the dismissal, arguing that the spouse would return to prosecute the case.  Attorney Topazio filed an opposition, contending that the spouse left the country without good cause and did so to gain an advantage in a probate case related to their divorce.

4. Court’s Decision: During oral argument, the Commonwealth stated that the alleged victim was available and willing to testify if the court granted a further trial date. Attorney Topazio argued against allowing the Commonwealth’s motion to vacate the dismissal, citing a violation of Mass. Crim. Law Rule 36, which mandates a trial within twelve months of arraignment. Additionally, he argued that the spouse had been exploiting the criminal case to gain an unfair advantage in their divorce proceeding.

The court ultimately denied the Commonwealth’s motion to vacate the dismissal, a decision that was not appealed by the Commonwealth.

Refiled Complaint and Due Process Grounds

Despite the initial dismissal, the spouse caused the police to reissue the complaint without notice to the defendant. Attorney Topazio successfully argued for the dismissal of this refiled complaint on due process grounds.

Third Refiling and Successful Defense

Undeterred, the complaint was refiled for a third time. Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio argued that the spouse had filed numerous other actions against his client as part of a strategy to gain an advantage in the probate case. This time, he convinced the Magistrate to deny issuing the criminal charges, and the police refused to appeal the denial of the complaint, effectively ending the case.


Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven Topazio’s rigorous defense in this domestic assault and battery case demonstrates the importance of a skilled attorney in navigating complex legal proceedings. Through strategic arguments based on legal rules and the client’s rights, Attorney Topazio secured a favorable outcome for his client, who faced a challenging and protracted legal battle. This case serves as an example of the critical role that experienced defense counsel can play in safeguarding a defendant’s rights and ensuring a just resolution.