Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is a felony in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Law c 265 s 15a defines assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The maximum penalty for this is ten years in state prison. Six years is the statute of limitations for this charge.
What is Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon?
There are two was one can be convicted for Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (ABDW). The first way is if the conduct was intentional. Three things need to be proven beyond a reasonable to convict one for Intentional ABDW.
- There was a touching, even very slight, without a right.
- It was intentional
- The touching was done with a dangerous weapon
In cases of intentional ABDW the prosecutor only needs to prove a slight touching. The prosecutor does not need to prove any actual injury.
The second way a prosecutor can prove an ABDW charge in Massachusetts is by reckless conduct. In order to be found guilty of reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon the prosecutor must prove defendant caused bodily injury. In order to prove reckless ABDW the prosecutor must prove
- The bodily injury was done with a dangerous weapon
- The actions were reckless
What is Bodily Injury?
Massachusetts courts say bodily injury must be serious enough to impact the victim’s health or comfort. It does not need to be a permanent injury. It cannot be “trifling.”
What are Reckless Actions?
Reckless behavior is when someone knows or should know their actions are likely to cause injury yet continue to do so.
What is a Dangerous Weapon?
Something can be considered a dangerous weapon in Massachusetts if it is either inherently dangerous or it is not. An inherently dangerous weapon is capable inflicting serious bodily injury or death. Any item can be used as a dangerous weapon if it reasonably appears to be able to cause serious injury or death. In deciding if something is considered a weapon courts consider all of the facts of the case.
Defense to Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
A Massachusetts criminal attorney can defend an ABDW case. An attorney can review the facts and find the best legal defenses. In any assault and battery case an experienced Massachusetts criminal attorney would see if a self-defense or defense of others case could apply. An attorney could question the weapon allegedly used. Many other defenses could also apply based on the facts of the case.
Mass. Criminal Attorney
Ma. Criminal attorney Patrick Donovan has represented many people charged with Assault and Battery with a dangerous weapon. Mr. Donovan, a former prosecutor, uses his prior training and experience to question the government’s case, negotiate with prosecutors and ultimately get the best possible outcome.
Mr. Donovan has appeared in over fifty Massachusetts criminal courts. He has tried cases both as a defense attorney and as defense counsel. Mr. Donovan is a criminal attorney with an office located in Quincy.