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.

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