There are two crimes in Massachusetts, assault and assault and battery. The difference between the two crimes is whether or not the defendant inflicts any harm to the victim. Massachusetts assault charges and penalties are tough. Obviously, the penalties vary depending on the severity of the charges. Therefore, you are going to want to hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney with experience.
John L. Calcagni has years of experience defending people from criminal charges. If receive any of the following charges, contact the Law Offices of John L. Calcagni today for a consultation and learn the best way to proceed with your case.
Types of Assault
- Simple Assault
- Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault with a Dangerous Weapon or Deadly Weapon
- Assault with Intent to Murder
Massachusetts Assault Charges and Penalties
Simple Assault and Battery
Under Massachusetts law, assault is attempting to use force or demonstrating intent to use immediate force against another. Physical contact isn’t even necessary for you to receive assault charges. For example, throwing a punch and missing is assault in Massachusetts. Causing someone to fear for their wellbeing is enough to receive Massachusetts assault charges.
Assault and battery is any unwanted touching of another individual. Touching someone in a way that is likely to commit bodily harm is also assault and battery. For example, punching, kicking, shoving, or spitting on someone is assault and battery in Massachusetts. However, there does not need to be any injury to the victim.
The penalty for these crimes includes up to two and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Domestic Assault and Battery
Domestic assault is the same as simple assault. Threats of physical violence or attempting to assault someone will result in assault charges. The only difference between domestic assault and simple assault is the relation between the victim and the defendant. Domestic assault occurs when the victim is part of the defendant’s household.
Domestic assault and battery is also identical to simple assault and battery. The only difference again is the relation of the two parties. Unwanted physical contact with a member of your household, even if there is no injury, is considered domestic assault and battery.
The punishment for these crimes includes up to two and a half years in prison and a $1,000 fine. The defendant may also have to participate in anger management classes or the Certified Batter’s Program. These programs can cost up to $3,500. Also, in most cases, the court issues a no contact order to the defendant.
There are also felony charges in certain cases. These charges occur when there is a serious injury to the victim. Felony domestic assault and battery convictions result in a prison sentence up to 15 years and much larger fines.
Aggravated assault which is also known as felony assault is the result of serious bodily injury to the victim. Obviously, the more serious the assault, the more serious the penalties. Aggravated assault occurs when the victim sustains a permanent disfiguration, a substantial risk of death, or impairment of any body part.
Examples of injuries that lead to felony assault charges include broken bones, scarring, bruising, an internal injury, or any injury that endangers a victim’s health or welfare.
The penalties for felony assault convictions include a minimum of a two and a half year prison sentence. The maximum prison term is up to five years. Also, there is a fine up to $5,000.
Assault With a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon
The term “dangerous weapon” is very broad. The obvious dangerous weapons are knives, guns, bats, and vehicles. However, because of how vague the law is almost any “weapon” that is used while committing assault and battery can be considered dangerous. There are provisions to this law for elderly people, children, and pregnant women. One of three things must occur to the victim; permanent disfigurement, loss of function of a body part, or substantial risk of death.
The penalties for AWDW range from five years to fifteen years in prison depending on the circumstances of the event. There is also the possibility of up to a $10,000 fine.
Case Results: Assault with Dangerous Weapon
Assault with Dangerous Weapon and Assault and Battery: Continued Without a Finding for Nine Months
Police responded to a residence in Mansfield, Massachusetts for a report of a domestic disturbance. Following a verbal dispute between a man, his brother and their mother, the man grabbed a kitchen knife and ordered his brother out of the residence. The brother then packed his belongings before leaving. Their mother assisted him with packing. The man, still hot-tempered, attacked his mother by striking her twice in the left side of her head causing her to fall to the ground and hit her head on a chair. She also sustained a laceration from a box cutter she was holding just before being struck by her son. The brother retreated to call 911. Police arrived, entered the home and observed the mother at the top of the stairs with a box cutter in her hand and blood on her clothing and neck. The man was placed under arrest for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon on his brother, and Assault and Battery on his mother. The man hired Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to represent him in this case. Following ongoing negotiations with the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded prosecutors to continue this case without a finding for nine months with the sole condition that the man complete 24 hours of community service. If the man satisfies this condition and is not charged with a new offense during the CWOF period, the matter will be dismissed and eligible to be sealed.
Assault on a Vulnerable Person
A vulnerable person includes pregnant women, people over the age of 60, children under the age of 14, and people with severe disabilities. Assault and battery on anyone of these groups of people could result in very serious criminal charges.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a conviction in an assault on a vulnerable person case could result in a maximum prison sentence between two and a half years and ten years. There is also the possibility of a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Assault With Intent to Murder
Assault with intent to murder is also know as assault for a particular purpose. If you commit assault while attempting to rob, steal or commit another felony, you will receive assault for a particular purpose charge. The penalties for this type of conviction include up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.