Assault & Battery
Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Individuals in the Boston Area
Unfortunately, many situations rise to the level of an assault and battery in the blink of an eye. These events usually involve a disagreement or verbal dispute between the parties involved, and they may also involve the consumption of drugs or alcohol. If you have been charged with assault and battery in the Boston area, it is important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your rights and to begin collecting evidence. In many instances, for example, there are witnesses who can help exonerate the defendant of his or her charges. At Lowney Law, LLC, we have years of experience helping defendants fight the charges against them and assert their rights.
Fighting Assault and Battery Charges Under Massachusetts Law
According to Massachusetts law, “assault” and “assault and battery” are two different charges. First, assault consists of attempting to use physical force against another person, or showing intent to use immediate force against another person. Accordingly, it is not necessary for the defendant to have made actual physical contact with the victim in order for assault to occur. This charge may be made, for example, when the defendant threw a punch at the victim and the punch missed, or when the defendant charged at the victim with his fists raised. Second, assault and battery occurs when the defendant made physical contact with the victim in a manner that was likely to cause harm to the victim, or without the victim’s consent. Hitting, kicking, pushing, or shoving a victim would constitute assault and battery according to this standard.
An assault and battery that results in a serious bodily injury carries more severe penalties than other injuries. If the victim suffers permanent scarring, disfigurement, loss of a body part, or impairment of a body part as a result of the incident, the defendant may face increased penalties. Similarly, assaults and batteries that create a substantial risk of death or that cause permanent disfigurement are also punished more severely. These injuries include permanent disfigurement, or the lasting loss or impairment of a body part. Breaking the victim’s leg would most likely fall within this category. Additionally, assaults and batteries that include bodily injuries, like burns, fractures, bruises, internal injuries, or any injury that endangers the victim’s welfare can lead to increased penalties.
In general, assault and battery in Massachusetts is punishable with up to 30 months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Incidents involving serious bodily injury are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
The most common defense to assault and battery charges is self-defense. In order to assert this defense, the defendant must show that he or she faced a threat of unlawful force against him or her, that there was a reasonable basis for that fear, that the defendant did not cause any harm or provocation, and that there was no reasonable possibility of retreating from the situation or escaping. A defendant may claim self-defense in situations involving the defense of property or the defense of another person. Another common defense in assault and battery cases is consent, in which the victim voluntarily consented to engaging in the act that later forms the basis for the charge.
Seek Legal Guidance in Boston when Facing Prosecution
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault and battery, it is essential to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. You have a constitutional right to an attorney, and you should use it. At Lowney Law, LLC, our Boston attorneys provide individuals charged with assault and battery, drug offenses, and other crimes with the compassionate and aggressive representation they need. We understand how difficult a criminal charge can be for you and your family. We offer a variety of payment plans and a free initial consultation. Call us now at 1-617-364-8000 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We also represent individuals in Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, West Roxbury, and Roslindale, as well as communities throughout Suffolk County.