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Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon
The crime of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon has several sub-components in Massachusetts. The law is set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 15A. To convict someone of this crime the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant touched someone else, however slightly and that he did so without an excuse or the right to do so;
- The touching was intentional, not by accident or with negligence;
- The touching was done with a dangerous weapon.
There is not need for the government to prove that the defendant intended to cause any injury nor does the prosecutor have to prove that the defendant actually did cause injury with the dangerous weapon. Any slight touching is sufficient, as long as it was done with a dangerous weapon. Just about anything qualifies as a dangerous weapon so long as the district attorney proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the instrument was used as a weapon in a dangerous or potentially dangerous fashion. As examples, pencils or pens can be dangerous weapons. Broomsticks, flashlights, lighted cigarettes and chairs have in some instances qualified as dangerous weapons. On the other hand, there are certain weapons that are considered inherently dangerous and these do not have to be used in a dangerous fashion. Inherently dangerous weapons include firearms, switch blades, brass knuckles, and other items as defined under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10(a) and 10(b).
If you are convicted of committing an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon you can be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison if the case is prosecuted in the superior court or 2½ years in a county house of correction if the case is kept in the district court.
Other components of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon are as follows:
- If you commit a second offense assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person sixty years or older there is a minimum mandatory 2 year jail sentence;
- If you commit an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on someone and in doing so cause serious bodily injury there is a potential 15 year prison sentence;
- If you commit an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a pregnant person there is a potential 15 year prison sentence provided however that you knew or had reason to know that the victim was pregnant;
- If you commit an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on someone who has a restraining order against you there is a possible 15 year prison sentence, provided you knew of the existence of the restraining order;
- If the defendant is 17 and the victim is under the age of 14 he or she faces is a possible 15 year prison sentence if convicted.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is committed to defending anyone accused of committing a crime in Massachusetts and throughout the country. We have been defending violent crimes for over 20 years with great success. Call our office at 617-263-6800 or contact us online to discuss your violent crime case.