The crime of Assault in Massachusetts is governed by M.G.L. c. 265, Section 13A, which carries the potential penalty of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections and a fine of up to $1,000.  If, however, an assault is committed upon someone who is pregnant; against someone who has an active Restraining Order; or results in serious bodily injury, the penalty could rise to imprisonment to state's prison for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000.

There are two forms of an 'assault'.  An assault is either an attempt to commit a battery or offer by one person to do bodily injury to another by force and violence; or putting someone in fear of immediate bodily injury.

The first type of Assault, an attempt to commit a battery, may be proved by showing the defendant intended to physically harm alleged victim.  Intent refers to a person's objectives or purposes, in other words, the defendant must have had it in his mind to do the proscribed act.  Intent is a conscious act, with the determination of the mind to do the act.  In this form of Assault, the prosecutor is required to prove that the defendant did, in fact, act toward the commission of inflicting physical harm on the alleged victim; and that the defendant had the actual or apparent ability to inflict bodily harm.

The second type of Assault occurs when the defendant, with the intent to cause apprehension of immediate bodily harm, does some act that causes apprehension of harm in the alleged victim.  In order to prove this form of Assault, the prosecutor must show:
  1. That the defendant possessed the intention to cause apprehension of immediate bodily harm;
  2. That the defendant engaged engaged in conduct that would raise a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.  For example, putting a gun to someone's head could constitute this form of Assault; and
  3. That as a result of the threatened conduct, the alleged victim did, in fact, experience a reasonable fear of immediate physical harm.
With either form of assault, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant had the actual ability to carry out the threat, but only the apparent ability to do so.

If you have been charged with the crime of Assault or any other Crime of Violence, you should immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer who can explain and best protect your legal rights.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defendant persons accused of the crime of Assault and is available 24/7.  To schedule a Free Consultation, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.