Attorney David Ellison defends people accused of committing all various types of assaults in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you have been charged with any type of assault charge, give us a call today. Assault charges are a serious offense and should not be taken lightly.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF ASSAULT IN MASSACHUSETTS?
An assault is “any manifestation, by a person, of that person's present intention to do another immediate bodily harm." Commonwealth v. Barbosa, 399 Mass. 841, 845 n.7, 507 N.E.2d 694, 696 n.7 (1987).
There are generally two forms of assault, an attempted battery and an imminently threatened battery. An attempted battery is the attempt to physically attack or harm another person. An imminently threatened battery occurs when you put another person in the immediate threat of physical harm. Commonwealth v. Delgado, 367 Mass. 432, 435-437 & n.3, 326 N.E.2d 716, 718-719 & n.3 (1975). A great example of an assault in the usual sense would be you throwing a punch at someone. Additionally, a great example of another way that an assault can occur would be to run up to someone fists flying.
An assault is “any manifestation, by a person, of that person's present intention to do another immediate bodily harm”
Types of Massachusetts Assault Offenses:
Massachusetts Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
Massachusetts Assault and Battery on an Intellectually Disabled Person
Massachusetts Assault and Battery on a Elderly or Disabled Person
Massachusetts Assault and Battery on a Pregnant Woman
Massachusetts Indecent Assault and Battery
What are Potential Defenses to Assault Offenses in Massachusetts?
It is important to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer who handles assault charges on a regular basis as these matters are not as straightforward as they might seem. Some potential defenses to assault can be the following:
Self Defense: You have the right to defend yourself if you feel you are being attacked and your safety is in danger. If you raise this defense at trial, and can provide evidence of self defense, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not act in self defense. It can be important in self defense claims that you tried to do everything reasonably necessary to avoid using force. In addition, the force you used has to be reasonable under the circumstances.
Defense of Another: You have the right to defend another person who is in need of aid when that person is in a situation where they could use self defense to defend themselves. The force that is used has to be reasonable.
It Never Happened: Many times a complaining witness may be lying about what happened. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to show facts and circumstances though their investigation and throughout trial to show that the person is making up this scenario and no assault actually took place.
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF AN ASSAULT CHARGE?
The elements—what the prosecution must prove for you to be guilty—in an attempted battery assault case are:
- You intended to commit a battery;
- You took some overt step toward accomplishing that intent;
- And you came reasonably close to accomplishing this intent.
The elements—what the prosecution must prove for you to be guilty—in an imminently threatened battery case are:
- You intended to put the alleged victim in fear of an imminent battery;
- You engaged in some conduct toward the alleged victim;
- The alleged victim reasonably perceived that conduct to be imminently threatening a battery.
WHAT IS AN “OVERT STEP” FOR AN ASSAULT?
An overt step would be any indication—to the reasonable person—that you were going to attempt to physically harm the alleged victim.Commonwealth v. Chambers, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 47, 49, 781 N.E.2d 37, 40 (2003)
It is important to hire a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process of gathering evidence and crafting a legal defense to the assault charges you are facing. Contact Massachusetts Assault Crime Lawyer David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.