Crimes involving children are heavily penalized in Massachusetts. If you have been accused of a crime involving a child, such as child assault or abuse, seeking legal representation immediately is critical. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney can help. Reach out to our law firm today for a consultation.
How Is Child Abuse Defined in Massachusetts?
The crime of assault and battery upon a child is found in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265 Section 13J. There are multiple different categories of this crime found under the law, including:
- Assault and battery leading to bodily injury
- Assault and battery leading to substantial bodily injury
- Causing injury to a child wantonly or recklessly when the child is in the person’s custody and care
- Permitting another to commit assault and battery on a child
Under the law, “bodily injury” is defined as substantial impairment of the physical condition, any injury which occurs as the result of repeated harm to any bodily function or organ, or any physical condition which imperils the child’s health or welfare. A “substantial” bodily injury is one that creates permanent disfigurement or impairment of a bodily function, or creates a substantial risk of death.
Penalties for Child Abuse in MA
Physically abusing a child by engaging in assault and battery of a child is a felony offense in our state. Under the same section of code cited above, a person who is found guilty of committing assault and battery on a child can be punished by up to five years in prison or two and a half years in a house of correction if the child suffers bodily injury, and up to 15 years in prison or two and a half years in a house of correction if the child suffers substantial bodily injury. Keep in mind that these penalties only pertain to assault and battery on a child under age 14; there are separate penalties for crimes involving children over age 14, as well as the crimes of indecent assault and battery upon a child, wanton or reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse, and rape of a child.
How to Defend Yourself When Facing Child Assault Charges in Massachusetts
If you have been charged with child abuse/assault and battery of a child in Massachusetts, you may be facing prison time and other consequences, including the loss of custody of your child, fines and fees, and a permanent stain on your professional and personal reputation. To avoid the most severe consequences of a conviction, it’s important to call an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you to understand the law, the potential penalties you face, and options for improving the outcome of your case, including accepting a plea bargain.
Call Our Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When you are facing charges for child assault or any other crime in our state, reach out to The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski for the legal support you need. You can reach us online or at (978) 397-0011 to get started.