An assault with a dangerous weapon in Massachusetts is basically a simple assault with one additional element: the assault was done by means of a dangerous weapon. An assault is an attempt to use physical force against another person or show intention to use force against them.
There are two types of dangerous weapons
Things that by their name cause serious injury or death
– Brass Knuckles
Things that become weapons when used in a dangerous way:
– A plate
– A lit cigarette
– A stapler
Elements of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
The first type of assault by dangerous weapon occurs when the defendant intended to commit a battery by using a dangerous weapon but was not successful. A good example of this would be if someone held a knife and, trying to stab the other person, completely missed.
The second type of assault by dangerous weapon occurs when the defendant threatens to commit a battery by using a dangerous weapon. Using the knife example, if the defendant stood close to the alleged victim and waived the knife in an overt and menacing way, that would be a threatened battery (and the knife, of course, would be considered the dangerous weapon).
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Type 1: An Attempted but Incomplete Battery by Using a Dangerous Weapon
To be found guilty of this form of assault with a dangerous weapon, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Intended to commit a battery (the unpermitted touching);
- Took some type of overt action towards accomplishing that intent;
- Came reasonably close to committing the battery; and
- Was done by using a dangerous weapon.
With Type 1 assault by dangerous weapon, the Commonwealth doesn’t need to show that the alleged victim was fearful of the attempted battery or was even aware of it in the first place.
Type 2: A Threatened Battery by Using a Dangerous Weapon
The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Intended to put the alleged victim in fear of imminent battery by using a dangerous weapon;
- Engaged in some conduct towards the alleged victim; and
- The alleged victim reasonably thought an unpermitted touching was imminent
For a threatened battery by a dangerous weapon, the defendant must intend to cause fear. However, it’s not necessary that the victim experienced any fear.
Potential Penalties for Assault by Dangerous Weapon in MA
Assault by a dangerous weapon is a form of aggravated assault and is considered a felony in Massachusetts. The maximum penalties if found guilty are as followed:
State Prison: Not more than 5 years (60 months) OR
House of Corrections: Not more than 2.5 years (30 months); OR
Fines: Not more than $1,000.
Get an Experienced Defense Attorney on Your Side
The team at Nate Amendola Defense brings a refreshingly holistic approach to the Massachusetts criminal defense field. We not only help clients resolve criminal cases, but we also help mitigate potential collateral consequences and work to ensure you have the tool kit you need to rebuild and crush your life.
If you’ve been arrested on an assault by a dangerous weapon charge, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You can contact us online or call our office directly at 781-650-6785 to schedule your free consultation with one of our top-notch criminal defense lawyers.
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