There are many different crimes against people that the district attorney will classify as “violent” or “assaultive.” These crimes will range in seriousness based on the facts and circumstances and the charges themselves. Some are misdemeanors, while others are felonies. Certain crimes can become felonies based on aggravating factors, such as the extent of the injuries, age of the alleged victim, or if the alleged victim is disabled or pregnant. Most are able to be resolved in Massachusetts District courts, while others are strictly under the jurisdiction of the Superior Courts.

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Assault

Assault

Many times, when a person thinks of assault, he thinks of physically harming another person. Such as punching or hitting someone. Assault in the eyes of the law though, is placing someone in fear of immediate physical harm. This can be by some kind of threatening or menacing behavior, or by actually attempting to hit someone, but failing at the task. Assault is a misdemeanor, that still carries a potential sentence of two and a half years in the house of corrections.

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Assault and Battery

This is the crime that someone is charged with when they actually make physical contact with someone. The government must show that the defendant touched the alleged victim, that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim and, that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm, or was offensive. Assault and battery is a misdemeanor, that still carries a potential sentence of two and a half years in the house of corrections.

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Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon

If the defendant is alleged to have committed and assault and battery used some instrument that was designed to, or could otherwise be used in a dangerous fashion. A very common dangerous weapon is a “shod foot.” This is charged when someone kicks someone while wearing shoes. The shoe itself is not an inherently dangerous item, however when used to kick someone, it becomes dangerous. Similarly, a pillow used to suffocate someone becomes a dangerous weapon. It all depends on how it is used. Assault with a Dangerous Weapon carries a maximum sentence of state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one-half years.

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Defenses

Sometimes an “assaultive” act can be justified. Self-defense, defense of another, and defense of property are all recognized defenses. The key is that all other manners of retreat were exhausted before resorting to self-defense, and the defensive action must not be excessive in proportion to the initial aggression.

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Sometimes an “assaultive” act can be justified. Self-defense, defense of another, and defense of property are all recognized defenses. The key is that all other manners of retreat were exhausted before resorting to self-defense, and the defensive action must not be excessive in proportion to the initial aggression.

Other Violent Crimes

Strangulation or Suffocation

Robbery

Rape

Murder