The Crime of Assault with Intent to Kill in Massachusetts

How is Assault with Intent to Kill Different from Assault with Intent to Murder?

Assault with intent to kill is a lesser included offense of assault with intent to murder. It is the crime of assaulting someone with the intent to commit manslaughter. Assault with intent to kill is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 29.

If you have been charged with assault with intent to kill, the district attorney prosecuting the case has to prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. Firstly, she must prove that you assaulted another person. An assault is a threat or endeavor to cause harm to someone that puts that person in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm. To satisfy this element, the prosecutor is required to prove that you intentionally made the threat or attempt and that you were able to cause harm to the other person. Secondly, the prosecutor will have to prove that you formed a specific intent to kill. A specific intent to kill must be an actual, subjective intent. The intent to scare or disable someone is not enough to satisfy this element. The third element is the existence of a mitigating circumstance. A mitigating circumstance is one that arises from the frailty of human nature. Examples of such circumstances include heat of passion in the face of provocation, defending oneself with excessive force and unexpected and abrupt combat. Frailty due to mental illness may also be considered a mitigating circumstance. A mitigating circumstance does not make your conduct lawful, but it makes your conduct somewhat less culpable. The existence of one of these mitigating circumstances is what distinguishes assault with intent to kill from assault with intent to murder. Specifically, assault with intent to commit murder requires proof of malice, whereas assault with intent to kill does not.

Assault with intent to kill is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to ten years or imprisonment in jail for up to two and one-half years coupled with a fine of up to $1,000. If you have been charged with this or any other crime in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Kathleen M. McCarthy at (978) 975 8060 or contact her online as soon as possible. Attorney McCarthy is an experienced criminal defense lawyer with the dedication and expertise that you need to win your case. She has more than twenty years of experience, and she will use that experience to put together a winning defense as soon as you contact her.