An assault and battery by a dangerous weapon (ABDW) is the unjustified use of force, however slight, against another by using a weapon. Or, an assault and battery by a dangerous weapon is the reckless use of a weapon that caused injury to another. Both types are considered felonies in Massachusetts.
Elements of ABDW
The first type of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon occurs when the defendant intended to commit a battery (the unpermitted touching of another person) by using a dangerous weapon. An example of this would be if someone intentionally swung a golf club at someone and that golf club contacted the person, the golf club would be the dangerous weapon. Another classic example of this is the so-called “shod foot”. This is when a person stomps on a victim’s hand and fingers with a shoe-covered foot. Touching may be direct as when a person strikes another, or it may be indirect as when a person sets in motion some force or instrumentality that strikes another.
The second type of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon occurs when the defendant committed a reckless act causing physical injury to another person. An example of this would be throwing a chair across the room in spite of anger or frustration and accidentally hitting someone.
In cases of assault and battery by dangerous weapon, the Commonwealth is not required to prove that the defendant specifically intended to cause injury to the alleged victim.
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Type 1: An Intentional and Unjustifiable Touch of Another Person
To be found of this form of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Touched the alleged victim;
- Intended to touch the alleged victim; and
- The touching was done with a dangerous weapon.
Type 2: Reckless Assault and Battery by Means of Dangerous Weapon
To secure a conviction, the Commonwealth must demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant:
- Engaged in actions that caused bodily injury to the alleged victim;
- That the bodily injury was done with a dangerous weapon; and
- That the defendant’s actions amounted to reckless conduct.
In this type of assault and battery by dangerous weapon, the Commonwealth must prove that the bodily injury was so serious that it interfered with the alleged victim’s health or comfort and that the dangerous weapon caused the bodily injury.
Aggravated Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon in MA
Assault and battery by dangerous weapon becomes “aggravated” if the defendant:
- Is 18 years or older and commits an assault and battery by dangerous weapon on a child; OR
- Causes serious bodily injury to a victim; OR
- Commits assault and battery by dangerous weapon against a person who they know, or has reason to know is pregnant; OR
- Commits assault and battery against a person who has an outstanding restraining order in effect against the defendant at the time of the attack.
Potential Penalties for Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
State Prison: Not more than 10 years; OR
House of Corrections: Not more than 2.5 years (30 months); OR
Fine: Not more than $5,000
State Prison: Not more than 15 years; OR
House of Corrections: Not more than 2.5 years (30 months); AND/OR
Fine: Not more than $10,000
ABDW Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be Arrested for an Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon?
Yes, because assault and battery by dangerous weapon is a felony, officers may conduct a warrantless arrest if there is probable cause to determine that a crime has been committed.
What is a Dangerous Weapon?
There are two categories of dangerous weapons. The first is an item that is designed for the purpose of causing serious injury or death. For example, a firearm or a knife.
The second category is any item that, if used in a dangerous or potentially dangerous manner, is capable of causing serious injury or death. For example, a brick.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Today
A charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is a serious matter that can have severe consequences on your future. Our team at Nate Amendola Defense is dedicated to helping our clients obtain the best possible outcome in their cases. We can assist you in comprehending the charges against you, create a game plan and advocate for your rights. Call us at 781-650-6940 or fill out a website form to schedule a free consultation and discover how we can further assist you.
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