Assault and Battery By Means of Dangerous Weapon Laws

What Does the Charge of Assault and Battery Mean in Massachusetts?

Assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon is a crime in Massachusetts that the courts take very seriously. This crime is a felony, which means that there is a potential for a committed sentence to a state prison, as opposed to a jail or house of correction, if the Commonwealth proves this case beyond a reasonable doubt. Massachusetts laws define this crime the same as an assault and battery with the added element of the dangerous weapon.

What Is a Dangerous Weapon?

In Massachusetts, a “dangerous weapon” is not just the typical objects such as a gun or knife. These items are considered “inherently dangerous” because they are “capable of causing serious injury or death.” If these are the alleged “dangerous weapon,” the judge will give a jury instruction indicating that “as a matter of law” the knife or gun is a “dangerous weapon.”

However, a “dangerous weapon” can also be anything that is used in such a manner that it “reasonably appears to be capable of causing serious injury or death” to someone. If you hit someone with anything other than your hand you can be found guilty in Massachusetts for assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. If you kick someone and you have shoes or sneakers on your feet, Massachusetts considers those actions assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Massachusetts Courts have even found that a wall or the ground can be a “dangerous weapon” if a person is thrown against a wall or to the ground in such a manner that death or serious injury could result.

The Massachusetts District Court jury instructions provide the examples of a lighted cigarette, if used in such a fashion to burn somebody, or a pencil, if aimed at someone’s eye or used in manner to cause death or serious injury, as “dangerous weapons.” The jury is instructed to look at all of the surrounding circumstances to determine whether an item is a “dangerous weapon” or not.

If the Commonwealth fails to establish that the item was a “dangerous weapon,” a defendant can still be convicted of the lesser-included offense of simple assault and battery. Assault and battery is a misdemeanor in Massachusetts. The most severe potential penalty for a conviction of this offense is two and one half years in the house of correction or jail. There is no possibility of being sentenced to state prison if convicted for simple assault and battery.

What Are the Penalties If Convicted of This Felony?

Punishment for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Massachusetts can range from probation to ten (10) years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000.00. If you commit an assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon in Massachusetts and you cause someone serious bodily injury or if the person you hit is pregnant, you face up to fifteen (15) years in prison. If you commit an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on someone who is sixty years old or older in Massachusetts, you might be facing a mandatory jail or prison sentence.

Kathleen McCarthy is known among Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers as someone who has handled matters involving the crime of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Her experience involves trying these cases to a jury or a judge, arguing for bails for persons charged with this crime and negotiating dispositions for people accused of having committed this act.

If you have been charged with this crime or believe that you might be charged with this crime, you should contact Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Kathleen McCarthy online or call 978-975-8060.

Case Results » Assault and Battery By Means of a Dangerous Weapon Laws
  • Charges Of Domestic Assault By Means Of A Dangerous Weapon Dismissed Against Client

    On Christmas Eve an upset spouse called the police claiming that his wife assaulted him with a knife. When the police arrived the husband "changed his story". The woman was arrested and charged with domestic assault by means of a dangerous weapon. Ultimately, the pair described the incident as a simple misunderstanding. Attorney McCarthy negotiated the dismissal of the charges against the defendant. Due to Attorney McCarthy's persistent advocacy the case was dismissed on the first court appearance following the arraignment.

  • Felony Assault And Battery By Means Of A Dangerous Weapon And Misdemeanor Assault And Battery/Domestic Violence Case Dismissed Against Client

    The defendant and her boyfriend had a disagreement after a night out. The client had initially contacted the police claiming that her boyfriend had abused her. After interviewing the parties, the girlfriend was ultimately arrested and charged with a felony count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon to with a knife and assault and battery. Attorney McCarthy conducted pre-trial interviews of the witnesses and moved for the case to be dismissed at a pre-trial hearing. The Judge allowed the motion and the case was dismissed against the client.

  • Domestic Case Dismissed Against Client Charged With Felony Count Of Assault With A Dangerous Weapon and Assault And Battery

    The police were called to a home because of a report of a fight that left a person with a stab wound. When the police arrived they interviewed a number of individuals at the scene. The occupant of the home, and the defendant's brother, claimed that the defendant came to his home and attacked him with a knife. Despite the fact that the defendant was the one with a knife injury to the inside of this hand, the police arrested the defendant and charged him with assault by means of a dangerous weapon to wit a knife and assault and battery.

    Attorney McCarthy investigated the circumstances surrounding the case and prepared for trial. Based on the injuries to the defendant and independent eyewitness accounts prepared to prove that the defendant was actually the victim and was acting in self-defense. The District Attorney's Office was NOT ready for trial. Attorney McCarthy answered ready for trial and moved for a dismissal of all charges. The judge allowed the motion and all charges against the defendant were dropped.

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog - Weapon Offenses