Assault on a Family or Household Member is considered domestic violence in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Law c 265 section 13m defines assault on a family or household member. Assault on a Family or Household Member is a misdemeanor crime. It is punishable by not more than 2.5 years in jail. A subsequent conviction of assault on a household member is a felony. That is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Anybody convicted must also complete a certified batterer’s program.
There are two forms of Assault on a family member. Assault is either an attempted battery or an immediate threatened battery. Battery is the unconsented to touching of another, like punching or slapping.
What’s Assault on Family Member?
To find someone guilty of assault using the attempted battery theory the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was intending to batter the victim. There must be an overt act and the person must have been close enough to actually committing a battery. Whether or not the victim was actually in fear does not need to be proven.
Threatened Assault on a Family Member
The prosecutor must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction for assault on a family member. The three elements the prosecutor must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt are:
- First, the defendant intended to put the victim in fear
- Secondly, engaged in some conduct aimed at the victim
- Thirdly, the victim reasonably believed there was an imminent threatened battery.
Also, the prosecutor must prove the defendant and victim were family or household members. That is because Massachusetts law defines family or household members as a married couple, a couple that has a child in common, or have been in a substantive dating relationship.
Assault on Family Member Lawyer
Courts treat domestic violence cases extremely seriously. In light of that, Patrick Donovan, a Massachusetts criminal attorney, has successfully defended many domestic violence charges in Quincy, Boston, and throughout Massachusetts. Mr. Donovan is a former prosecutor who uses that experience to get the best possible outcome for each of his clients. As a criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Donovan believes in taking a client-first approach to all criminal defense cases.