Massachusetts Legal Blog
Arrested for Assault? You Can’t Afford to Wait
Assault can conjure up different ideas for different people. Some may imagine bar brawls, while others may think assault includes speaking harshly to someone. So when a person is charged with assault in Massachusetts, what exactly does that mean?
That depends on the type of assault, if anyone was injured, and the extent of those injuries. In any case, if you are accused of assault in the Boston area, getting a tough criminal defense attorney is your best chance of defeating the charges.
Simple assault in Massachusetts is the act of threatening to use force against another person. If another person fears that someone else is going to harm him, it is considered assault.
In addition, the victim doesn’t necessarily have to know about the assault. For example, if a bar patron attempted to punch someone else but that person had his back turned and didn’t see the punch, the bar patron can still be charged with assault even if that punch didn’t land.
Aggravated assault is similar to simple assault in that one person only needs to feel as though another person is going to harm him. With aggravated assault, there need to be aggravating factors: factors that make the assault more serious.
For example, using a weapon like a broken bottle while attempting to hit someone could constitute aggravated assault, because the harm being threatened would be more serious. Or, if the person being assaulted was a police officer, it would be considered aggravated because police are protected individuals.
Assault and Battery
For someone to be charged with assault and battery, he needs to go beyond intent to harm another person. He needs to actually make physical contact with the victim. It is important to know that assault and battery does not have to result in serious physical injury to the victim. The touching only needs to be intentional, harmful, and without consent on the part of the victim.
Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14
Assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 is a serious offense in Massachusetts. Because it is common for children to sustain minor injuries, the prosecution must be able to show that there is a correlation between the assault and battery and the child’s injury. For example, if a parent grabbed his child by the upper arm and the child later had a bruise show up on his hand, the correlation could not be proven.
When a child under the age of 14 has suffered serious bodily injury due to an assault, the accused will face more severe penalties. For someone to be charged with this crime, the bodily injury must result in permanent disfigurement, loss of limb, organ, bodily function, or an increased risk of death.
Domestic Violence Assault and Battery
A relatively new law has been enacted in Massachusetts, meant to address the growing issue of domestic violence. The same elements of proof for assault and battery are required. In addition, the two people must have been involved in a domestic relationship.
This doesn’t only apply to people in a romantic relationship. A domestic relationship could include people that are blood relatives, have a child together, or who have lived in the same household for at least five years before the incident happened. In addition, if two people were in a romantic relationship five years prior to the date of the alleged offense but are not any longer, it could also be considered domestic assault and battery.
Get the Help of an Attorney
Assault in all its forms is a very serious charge. If convicted, a person may spend several years in prison and face steep fines. A conviction for assault will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life. These records are checked by employers, landlords, and financial institutions. After they see an assault charge on your record, they can easily assume you’re violent and refuse to rent to you or hire you.
If you were charged with assault, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Our Massachusetts assault defense lawyer at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., is familiar with these crimes, and will ensure your rights are upheld throughout the process. Call (978) 327-5140 right away.
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