A person who is charged with a violent crime such as assault or assault and battery can face criminal penalties, including fines and jail or prison time. One of the best ways to avoid the worst of consequences is to work with a criminal defense attorney early on in the process. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our team can help. Call today to learn more about assault and battery charges and penalties in Massachusetts.
What Are the Two Ways that a Person Can Commit an Assault?
There are two types of assault charges in Massachusetts: intentional assault and battery and reckless assault and battery.
First, it’s important to understand how assault and battery are defined in the state. If charged with assault and battery, the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you made physical contact with another person, that the touching was done without good cause or a reasonable excuse, that the contact was harmful or offensive, and that the contact was intentional.
A charge is elevated to reckless assault and battery if it was not only intentional, but also if it was done in a way that constitutes reckless and wanton conduct. Usually, this means that a reasonable person would have understood that the actions committed would lead to harm, yet the defendant committed those actions regardless.
Penalties for Assault in Massachusetts
If a person is convicted of assault and battery in Massachusetts, they can face up to 2.5 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000. If the offense is aggravated—which means that it is committed against certain persons or causes serious bodily injury—the penalties are harsher.
How to Defend Against Criminal Charges
As explained above, the prosecution is responsible for proving the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. The best defense, then, is often to find ways to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument. For example, a defendant may argue that they lacked intent in committing the assault and battery—and that the prosecution’s evidence does not show intent, but merely that the incident happened by accident. Depending on the circumstance, there may be grounds to have evidence dismissed or withheld—for example, if it was procured in a way that is in violation of a defendant’s Constitutional rights.
Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When facing criminal charges, there’s a lot on the line. The best defense starts with calling an experienced Massachusetts criminal attorney, who can help you to understand the charges against you and the potential penalties you may face. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, we can help. Reach out today by phone at (978) 397-0011 or online for a confidential consultation about your options.