Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon is a felony and, therefore, a serious criminal charge that should not be taken lightly. This severe charge has the potential consequences of going to jail, facing probation, potential fines and fees, and a criminal conviction. If you are charged with Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, you do not have to fight the charges alone, you can contact an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney like Attorney David Ellison. Attorney David Ellison is a Massachusetts assault crimes lawyer who has handled many different assault cases throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
WHAT IS ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MEANS OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
Assault and Battery by means of a dangerous weapon essentially means that you have physically attacked someone with a dangerous weapon. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 15A (b) states "Whoever commits an assault and battery upon another by means of a dangerous weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years or in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment."
WHAT DOES THE PROSECUTION HAVE TO SHOW FOR ME TO BE FOUND GUILTY of ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MEANS OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You touched the person of the alleged victim;
- You intended to touch the alleged victim;
- And the touching was done with a dangerous weapon.
WHAT IS "TOUCHING THE PERSON OF THE ALLEGED VICTIM?"
A touching is any physical contact, no matter how slight or minor in severity. A touching can be direct, such as when a person physically hits another with a closed fist. Or a touching can be indirect, such as when a person sets in motion a force or instrumentality that strikes another like the firing of a gun.
HOW CAN THE PROSECUTION PROVE THAT "I INTENDED TO TOUCH THE ALLEGED VICTIM?"
The prosecution must prove that you consciously and deliberately meant to touch the alleged victim, and therefore that touching was not accidental or negligent. Therefore, they can prove that you intended to touch the victim based on any evidence—witness testimony, photos, video footage, etc.—of your actions before, after, and during the incident.
WHAT IS A DANGEROUS WEAPON UNDER THE LAW?
A weapon is "an instrument of offensive or defensive combat, or anything used, or designed to be used, in destroying, defeating, or injuring an enemy." Commonwealth v. Sampson, 383 Mass. 750, 754 (1981). A dangerous weapon is any item that was designed to cause serious injury or death. Additionally, a dangerous weapon can also be an item that is usually used for innocent or practical purposes can still be a dangerous weapon if it reasonably appears to be capable of causing serious bodily injury or death.
WHAT IS SERIOUS BODILY INJURY?
According to Massachusetts law, serious bodily injury means bodily or physical injury "which results in a permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ, or a substantial risk of death." Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 15A (d).
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MEANS OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
The penalties for Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon are the following:
- up to 10 years in state prison
- up to 2 and a half years in the House of Correction
- a maximum fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
- potential felony conviction
- potential probation
WHAT ARE SOME DEFENSES FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MEANS OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
There is no clear-cut defense to any charge, every case is unique, and, therefore, every defense is dependent on the facts of your case. With that being said, common defenses to an Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon charge include:
- Defense of Another
- This alleged incident never occurred
- The touching was not intentional
- The touching was accidental
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM CHARGED WITH ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MEANS OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
If you or a loved one have been charged with Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon and needs an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, don't hesitate to contact criminal defense attorney David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.