How an Assault and Battery Lawyer Can Help You: Criminal Assault Charges Explained
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an assault and battery charge is considered a very serious offense and can carry substantial penalties if found guilty. However, what is considered to be assault and battery can vary greatly and it is easy to be confused when trying to understand the specifics of your individual case. In this article, we address some of the common questions people frequently ask when consulting with their assault and battery lawyer.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with assault and battery, contact Murphy & Rudolf, LLP today online or by calling (508) 570-3037. Our Worcester-based team of assault and battery lawyers can provide the necessary quality and experienced legal representation you need to protect your future.
Are Assault and Battery the Same Crime or Are They Two Different Charges?
Assault and battery are two separate offenses, though they are often charged together. The Legal Information Institute of the Cornell Law School explains that in some states, “Criminal law statutes will sometimes merge the two terms of ‘assault’ and ‘battery’ into the one crime of ‘assault.’”
In Massachusetts, “assault” and “assault and battery” are distinct and separate offenses that are charged and prosecuted differently. However, an experienced assault and battery lawyer knows that it is very common that with assault charges, battery charges are often added, as well.
What’s the Difference Between Assault and Assault and Battery?
This is a common point of confusion an assault and battery lawyer sees with the public and their clients. To be charged with “assault” is to be charged with the intent or attempt to inflict physical harm on a person. This can happen in domestic settings, bar fights, during some sort of other confrontation or crime, etc. Being charged only with assault means that there was no physical harm done to the person. They were not touched nor injured.
However, if you are charged with assault and battery, it means that physical contact was made and the alleged victim was touched, hurt, or injured. The battery charge refers directly to the act of causing harm. Any assault and battery lawyer knows that this immediately brings heftier and more complicated penalties
What Are the Penalties I Could Face for Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery can be either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. The penalties can be quite severe and may carry mandatory sentences. If convicted of a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery, you may face a maximum sentence of two and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
However, these penalties become more severe if the victim of the assault is a child, an elderly individual, or law enforcement, for example. Another variation can include the use of a dangerous weapon, aggravated battery. This can bring felony charges and lead to up to 10 years in prison.
How an Assault and Battery Lawyer Can Help
The only person who can help you fully understand the possible penalties in your case is a qualified and experienced assault and battery lawyer. Make sure you confer with proper legal representation before you assume an understanding.
If you have been charged with assault and battery, it is critical to hire an experienced and aggressive assault and battery attorney. Call (508) 570-3037 today or contact us online for a free consultation with our quality attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP.