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What is Assault in Massachusetts?

what is assault in Massachusetts

If you’ve been charged with assault in the state of Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as you receive your court summons. If convicted of assault, you could spend time in the state correctional facility or be made to pay a fine.

You can either receive a summons for an arraignment or a clerk magistrate’s hearing.  Either way, you should secure an aggressive defense as soon as possible.  I am happy to speak with you over the phone regarding your criminal case before you retain me as your attorney – give me a call today at 617-295-7500.

What is an “Assault” in Massachusetts?

There are two forms of assault in Massachusetts:

  1. Attempted Battery
    • an attempt to use some type of physical force on another individual
  2. Immediately Threatened Battery
    • a demonstration of an attempt to use immediate physical force on another person

What is “Battery”?

Battery is a harmful or unwelcome touching of another person. Keep in mind that for the crime of assault, there does not necessarily need to be evidence that you actually made some form physical contact with the alleged victim. Even you attempted to do so, but didn’t actually make contact with the other person, that can still result in a charge of assault in Massachusetts.

What Does the Commonwealth Have to Prove for a Conviction?

  • Attempted Battery
    1. you intentionally tried to commit battery on another person,
    2. took some obvious step(s) in order to commit battery, and
    3. you came reasonably close to committing that battery.

With an attempted battery assault, the prosecution does not need to prove that the alleged victim was afraid, or that they were even aware of the attempted battery.

  • Immediately Threatened Battery
    1. you intended to make the alleged victim fearful of an eminent battery, and
    2. you did something that made the alleged victim fear the threat of a battery occurring.

What are the Possible Penalties if I’m Convicted of Assault in Massachusetts?

Although assault is a misdemeanor offense, you still could face possible jail time. If you are convicted of assault in the state of Massachusetts, you may face imprisonment for not more than 2.5  years in the house of correction, a fine of not more than $1,000.  Assault can also lead to pretrial detention under the dangerousness statute, underscoring why it’s so critical to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if you’re facing the charges.

An assault charge could also affect your license to carry, and even if the charges are dismissed, could make you unsuitable for a firearm.  I handle firearms appeals in Massachusetts as well.

Call Us Today

If you’ve been charged with assault in Massachusetts, you could be facing jail time. The criminal justice system can be intimidating, and that’s why you need an experienced defense attorney.  I will be on your side to help and guide you through the court proceedings. I have been practicing as a criminal defense attorney for years, and I will give your case the time and attention it deserves. I take on defense cases in the Greater Boston Area in courts including Roxbury, Cambridge, Salem, Lynn, Peabody, and Boston. Please visit my website to see a full list of the courts I service. Reach out to me today by giving me a call or texting me at 617-295-7500, or sending me a message on my website.




Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

Boston Attorney

The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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