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Assault and Battery on a Pregnant Woman

In Massachusetts, Assault and Battery is a misdemeanor offense that is taken very seriously by the court system. An assault and battery is defined as the intentional doing of a wanton or grossly negligent act causing personal injury to another, or the intentional and unjustified use of force upon the person of another however slight. The negative consequences that result from simple assault and battery differ from the negative consequences that result from assault and battery on a pregnant woman.

Massachusetts G. L. c. 265, §13(A)(b) concerns itself with those who commit either an intentional or reckless assault and battery on a pregnant woman. The law dictates that anyone who possessed actual knowledge or one who should have had knowledge that a woman is pregnant and commits an assault and battery on her, shall be punishable by:

  • Maximum sentence of 5 years in the state prison, or
  • Maximum sentence of 2.5 years in the house of corrections, or
  • Maximum fine of $5,000, or
  • By both fine and imprisonment.

The criminal defense firm at The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy represents clients in the greater Boston area and throughout Massachusetts charged with assault and battery and assault related offenses. The judicial system in Massachusetts can be complicated and unnerving for those facing charges, whether traffic offenses and misdemeanors to serious felonies. Having an educated Boston criminal defense attorney with many years of experience on your side can make a difference.

The prosecution must be able to prove these five elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find the defendant guilty of an intentional assault and battery on a pregnant woman:

  1. The defendant, having no legal right or excuse to touch the alleged victim, did so anyway
  2. The touching of the alleged victim was intentional;
  3. The touching was unwelcomed by the woman, or that the touching of the woman was likely to cause bodily harm;
  4. The alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the assault and battery; and
  5. The defendant had knowledge of or had reason to have knowledge of that woman's pregnancy.

There is no requirement for the prosecution to prove that the defendant committed the assault and battery to purposefully cause injury to the alleged victim.

The prosecution must be able to prove these four elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find the defendant guilty of reckless assault and battery on a pregnant woman:

  1. The defendant acted in a reckless manner;
  2. Included in the defendant's reckless behavior was an intentional act which resulted in serious bodily injury or harm to the alleged victim.
  3. At the time of assault and battery, the alleged victim was pregnant; and
  4. The defendant possessed actual knowledge of or had reason to have knowledge of that woman's pregnancy.

The prosecution must also prove that the injury which resulted from the defendant's reckless behavior or conduct was serious enough to interfere with the alleged victim's health or comfort.

Contact a Smart and Talented Boston, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are involved in a civil or criminal case, the decisions you make may affect your life many years into the future. Consequently, those decisions cannot be made lightly. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is a resourceful Massachusetts criminal defense firm with decades of successful experience defending clients facing criminal assault and battery charges. As your Boston criminal defense lawyer, Patrick J. Murphy will keep you informed at every stage of your case and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome available. Contact The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy to engage the experienced, savvy team. Fill out our online contact form or call 617-647-0450 for a free and confidential quote.

Client Reviews
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"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
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"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
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"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
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"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User