Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon

Section 15A of Chapter 265 in the Massachusetts General Laws distinguishes between two subsidiaries of the same crime: intentional assault and battery which a dangerous weapon and reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, both of which are a felony. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is prohibited for an individual to commit an intentional assault and battery on another by means of a dangerous weapon. In order for a defendant to be found guilty of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (1) the defendant touched the alleged victim without a right or excuse to do so, (2) the touch was intentional, (3) the touch was done by means of a dangerous weapon. The Commonwealth also prohibits an individual to commit a reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. In order for a defendant to be found guilty of this crime, the prosecution must be able to proffer evidence as to three elements: (1) the defendant action were the cause of bodily injury to another person, (2) the injury was inflicted by a dangerous weapon, and (3) the defendant actions amounted to reckless conduct. A person’s conduct is considered reckless if they knew or should have known that their actions had a potential of causing harm to another person. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes felony crimes very seriously; in order to have your rights and freedoms protected you should retain the services of a relentless Massachusetts felony crimes defense lawyer immediately.

If convicted of either intentional or reckless assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, the penalties associated are severe and include the following:
  • Maximum sentence in the state prison: 10 years, or
  • Maximum sentence in the house of corrections: 2.5 years, and maximum fine of $5,000.
Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon on a Person 60 Years of Older
If the victim of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon is 60 years or older, the offender is subject to the following penalties:
  • Maximum imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years, or
  • A fine of $1,000 and maximum imprisonment in jail for 2.5 years.
  • Any second or subsequent offense will result in mandatory minimum imprisonment for 2 years.
Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon Causing Serious Bodily Injury
If the assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon caused serious bodily injury the offender shall be punished by:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years, or
  • In the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or 
  • By a fine not exceeding $10,000, or 
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
As defined by the statute, any bodily injury which results in permanent disfigurement, loss of impairment of a bodily function, limb, or organ, or a substantial risk of death shall constitute serious bodily injury.

Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon on a Pregnant Woman
In the event the offender knew or had reason to know the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault and battery, the offender shall be subject to the following punishments:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years, or
  • In the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or 
  • By a fine not exceeding $10,000, or 
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon On a Person Protected by a Protective Order
If the individual who commits an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon upon another who has an existing temporary or permanent vacate, restraining or no contract order against the offender at the time of the assault and battery, they are punishable by:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years, or
  • In the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or 
  • By a fine not exceeding $10,000, or
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon On a Child Under the Age of 14
If the offender is 17 years of age or older and commits an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a child under the age of 14 years old, they too shall be punished by:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years, or
  • In the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or 
  • By a fine not exceeding $10,000, or 
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A DANGEROUS WEAPON?
For the purposes of the crime, a dangerous weapon is defined as any instrument or instrumentality so constructed or so used as to be likely to produce death or great bodily harm (Commonwealth v. Farrell). Dangerous weapons can be either those that are inherently dangerous such as an item capable of causing serious injury or death, or an otherwise innocent item which becomes dangerous due to the manner in which it is used. If a weapon is considered one of an inherently dangerous nature, the weapon does not have to be used in a dangerous fashion. On the other hand, for usually innocent items to be considered dangerous weapons, they must be used in a dangerous or potentially dangerous fashion. For example, a pencil aimed at another’s eyeball can be considered a dangerous weapon. The circumstances surrounding the alleged weapon will be coupled with the crime for specific determination of whether the weapon was indeed dangerous. Some common examples of dangerous weapons include knives, guns, explosives, switchblades, brass knuckles, and swords.

Adamant in Your Defense: The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy
Attorney Murphy is fully prepared to fight in your defense all the way to the highest court to ensure you the best possible outcome. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is a well-known and respected criminal defense firm which has been offering legal services to the greater Boston area for over 18 years. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has the tactical skills and courtroom know-how to construct the most aggressive defense for your assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon case. To contact the Law Office of Attorney Patrick J. Murphy for a free and confidential discussion of your case, please call 617-367-0450 or complete the contacts tab on our website.
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