What Are The Penalties for Assault & Battery in Boston, MA?
Assault and battery charges should never be taken lightly. When someone is facing an assault and battery charge it is important to understand there are different levels as a man from Cranston Rhode Island learned in a recent alleged road rage incident.
Types of Assault & Battery Charges in Massachusetts
Assault and battery charges may be launched against a person who threatens harm to another person. Some of the various types of charges someone may face include:
- Assault and Battery — this involves a person who harms or attempts to harm another person. This is generally considered a misdemeanor offense.
- Aggravated Assault and Battery — this is a felony offense which is differentiated from assault and battery by the use of a dangerous weapon or when someone has caused serious bodily injury to another person.
- Domestic Assault and Battery — this charge is possible when the parties involved are involved in a relationship including parents, spouses, or domestic partners.
- Assault and Battery on a Police Officer — this is the most serious of all assault and battery charges in Massachusetts. When someone is facing this charge it means they have struck a law enforcement officer.
Anyone who is accused of assault and battery charges in Boston MA should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. These charges carry serious penalties if someone is convicted. The best way to avoid fines and time in prison is to ensure a strong defense. This can only be done with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Penalties for Assault & Battery Convictions
As with any type of criminal offense, penalties can vary widely depending on how the charges are filed. Some of the potential penalties for a charge of assault and battery include:
- Assault and battery — up to two and a half years in jail and fines of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor assault and battery charge.
- Aggravated assault and battery conviction — this is considered a felony charge and the penalties include up to 10 years prison time and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Domestic assault and battery charges — someone who is convicted of this charge may be facing misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances. A conviction could result in jail time of up to two and a half years and fines of up to $5,000 and in some cases, both.
- Assault and battery against law enforcement — when a law enforcement officer assault and battery conviction occurs the defendant could be facing jail time from 90 days up to two and a half years. Fines can range from $500 – $5,000.
A skilled criminal defense attorney may help a defendant identify mitigating factors when they are facing assault and battery charges. Every person who is facing these charges should be in contact with a lawyer as soon as they learn of the charges.
Mitigating Factors & How an Attorney Can Help
A skilled criminal defense attorney will hear a defendant’s story and help them determine what factors may help reduce the charges they are facing, or may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charges dismissed if there are mitigating factors. Some of these factors may include:
- Lack of intent — a defendant may have had no intent to injure another person. An accidental action may still result in someone facing a charge of assault and battery.
- Someone is provoked — unfortunately, there are instances where a defendant is provoked by another party and this provocation can result in someone facing an assault and battery charge.
- Impaired mental status — someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone with a mental health issue may be unaware of the consequences of the actions they took. This may be a potential mitigating factor.
- Self-defense — if someone lashes out physically at someone who was attempting to harm them, an attorney may be able to gather proof via video evidence or witness statements.
- Defense of another — in some cases, someone who is defending someone else from potential harm and subsequently faces assault and battery charges may be able to show they were defending someone else.
These are some of the potentially mitigating circumstances which can help reduce an assault and battery charge, or possibly mitigate the penalties someone is facing.
An attorney who has experience handling Boston assault and battery charges can help a potential defendant meet the challenges of these charges head on. A lawyer will make sure a defendant understands their legal rights, thoroughly investigate the circumstances which led to the charges, help a defendant build a defense, and may also help negotiate a plea bargain if it is determined to be in the best interests of the defendant.
Before a person facing an assault and battery charge is required to be in court, the attorney will prepare the defendant, prepare for trial, and help present a defense to a judge or jury. Additionally, an attorney can cross examine witnesses, present evidence which helps the defendant, and argue on their behalf.
No person facing any type of criminal charges should attempt to handle these charges by ignoring them, or by thinking they can fight them on their own. Even in cases where the charges may be charged when someone has been defending themselves or another party, it is important for a defendant to have an attorney who is advocating for them.
Assault and battery charges carry real and serious consequences and put a person’s freedom in jeopardy. A criminal conviction may carry repercussions beyond serving prison time and paying fines including being excluded from holding certain jobs, facing challenges with housing, and even being unable to secure scholarships.
Anyone who is facing an assault and battery charge in Boston, regardless of what level of crime they are facing, should seek immediate guidance from an attorney who has experience with these types of charges. An attorney can help ensure a defendant’s rights are protected and explore every legal avenue to help mitigate the charges they are facing. Call Riccio Law at 617-404-8878 to schedule a free consultation.