In order to understand the new crime of domestic assault and battery you have review the existing crimes of assault and assault and battery. A Battery is when a person intentionally (on purpose), and without justification, touches another person in a harmful or offensive way. A harmful touch is one that is meant to inflict pain or injury, while an offensive touch is often sexual in nature, or injurious to a person’s dignity.
“Bodily injury” includes any of the following injuries: burns, bone fractures, trauma-related injuries to the organs including the skin. The maximum punishment for an assault and battery causing bodily injury is imprisonment for a maximum of five years. The maximum punishment for a caretaker wantonly or recklessly permitting bodily injury is imprisonment for a maximum of 2 ½ years.
Assault and battery on an individual with intellectual disabilities is a serious crime carrying stiff penalties. Massachusetts General Laws 265 section 13 F allows a judge to sentence a defendant that is found guilty to a maximum of five years in prison. If a defendant is found guilty of his or her second offense they could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 13K defines the crime of assault and battery on a disabled person. A disabled person is anyone that has a permanent or long-lasting physical or mental impairment that prevents the individual from providing for his own care or protection.
Assault and battery on a child under fourteen is a crime in Massachusetts that results when someone commits an assault and battery on any child under the age of fourteen causing either bodily injury or substantial bodily injury. It is a crime taken seriously by prosecutors who will aggressively seek to prove your guilt and usually will ask for the maximum penalty.
There are three degrees for which a person can be charged for assaulting an elderly person: Simple assault and battery on a person over age 60, Assault and battery upon a person over age 60 causing bodily injury., Assault and battery on a person over age 60 or disabled person that causes serious bodily injury. Depending on how you are charged you could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Massachusetts General laws Chapter 265 section 20 states that “whoever, without being armed with a dangerous weapon, assaults anyone by way of force or violence with the intention or committing a robbery will be guilty of assault with the intent to rob.”
Domestic assault and battery charges are aggressively pursued by the district attorney’s office. If you are facing domestic assault charges you will need an attorney with local legal experience. Attorney Noonan is a former assistant district attorney with over 30 years of trail experience and he knows how the prosecutors office works and how to work best on your behalf.
Depending on the facts of an arrest, domestic assault and battery in Massachusetts can be charged as simple assault and battery, assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery or assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. There is a huge difference between these four charges. Simple assault and battery and assault and battery are misdemeanor crimes in Massachusetts. Aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on the other hand are felony offenses.
On the spectrum of felonies, intentional or reckless assault and battery are relatively minor, albeit still serious, charges, which can result in up to 30 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Much more serious is the charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which can land a person in prison for up to 15 years. The key issue here is what constitutes a “dangerous weapon.”
For a weapon to be considered dangerous under the law it does not necessarily have to be a gun or knife, but any object that the suspect should reasonably have known could result in serious bodily harm (a baseball bat, a chest of drawers, or even a blunt household object, for example).
In Massachusetts law, it can be difficult for laypeople, and sometimes even law enforcement making charges to see a solid distinction between simple assault, reckless or willful assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. And sometimes, even indecent assault and battery may come into play.
It’s relatively rare for a person in the state of Massachusetts to be charged with simple assault; more often, anyone who injures, or threatens to injure, another individual is charged with some variety of assault and battery.
Simple assault charges usually involve wielding force against another person without undue malice, intention to cause harm, or a deadly weapon. Simple assault may be charged as misdemeanor, with minimal consequences for the person convicted.
Although battery and assault are technically two distinct types of felonies, most people are charged with the both assault and battery. In more severe cases, a person may be charged with aggravated assault. There are two different variants of assault and battery: Intentional Assault and Battery, and Reckless or Willful Assault and Battery. There are also two types of assault and battery charges that involve offensive (sexual) touching: Indecent Assault and Battery of a Person Over 14, or Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child Under Age 14.
If you have been unjustly accused of the indecent assault and battery of a child under 14, the law gives wide leeway in its vague definition of the word indecent, for an overzealous prosecutor to pursue a shaky case. The attorneys at The will do their best to exculpate you of these serious charges, either by presenting compelling physical evidence or calling on the testimony of eyewitnesses; in other cases, they may be able to have the charges dismissed pending payment of a fine or completion of a period of probation.
Massachusetts law is fairly clear and lengthy about many serious crimes—but the statute concerning indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 is extremely brief, and does not explain what constitutes an “indecent” offense. For that, you have to turn to the instructions handed out to Massachusetts juries, which define “indecent” behavior as the inappropriate touching of a person’s genital area, buttocks, or (in the case of females) breasts in a way that is “fundamentally offensive to contemporary standards of decency.”
It’s relatively rare for a person in the state of Massachusetts to be charged with simple battery, the legal term for the act of physically contacting another person without his or her consent. Most often, the alleged perpetrator of an act of violent physical contact will be charged with assault and battery, the “assault” part referring to the intent to commit violence and the “battery” part to the violence itself.
Also, see Battery Charges
Section 13A. Assault, or assault and battery; punishment
Section 13A. (a) Whoever commits an assault or an assault and battery upon another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years in a house of correction or by a fine of not more than $1,000.