Assault and battery on a police officer (ABPO) in Massachusetts falls under G.L.c. 265, § 13D, assault and battery on a public employee. It involves intentionally or recklessly causing harm or physical contact without their consent while performing their official duties. Massachusetts recognizes the importance of protecting people while working and impose significant penalties.
Public Employee in Massachusetts
“Public Employee” is not defined in the statute; however, it is anyone who is employed by the state. G.L.c. 32, § 1D gives an extensive definition. Some examples are:
- Police Officers
- Transit Workers
- Court Personnel
Elements of ABPO
The elements of A&B on a public employee stem from the elements of assault and battery. In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant:
- Committed an assault and battery;
– Either intentional or reckless
- The alleged victim was a public employee;
- The defendant knew the alleged victim was on duty;
- The alleged victim was engaged in the performance of their duties
It’s not too late
Different Penalties for A&B on a Police Officer
Penalties differ significantly due to the severity of the offense. The range generally falls between a simple assault that is committed on a police officer to an assault and battery that causes serious bodily injury to an officer.
State Prison: Not less than 90 days but not more than 2.5 years (30 months) OR
Fine: Not less than $500 but not more than $5,000
Attempt to Disarm an Officer
State Prison: Not more than 10 years; OR
House of Corrections: Not more than 2.5 years (30 months); AND
Fine: Not more than $1,000
Serious Bodily Injury
State Prison: Not less than 1 year (12 months) but not more than 10 years; OR
House of Corrections: Not less than 1 year (12 months) but not more than 2.5 years (30 months); AND/OR
Fine: Not less than $500 but not more than $10,000
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Spitting on a Police Officer be Considered Assault and Battery?
Yes, intentionally spitting on a police officer can lead to you being charged with assault and battery on a police officer. In Massachusetts, spitting has been held to be considered an unwanted or offensive “touching”. Intentionally spitting on a police officer while they are on duty and engaged in performing their job would constitute an A&B on a Police Officer.
Can You be Charged with Resisting Arrest and A&B on a Police Officer?
Yes. You can be charged with resisting arrest when you knowingly interfere with a police officer who is trying to make an arrest. This can be by force or by threat of force. That resistance can happen at the same time as the assault and battery if the force that is used happens while the officer is trying to make an arrest. Both can happen simultaneously, and you can be charged with each individually.
- Assault and Battery
- Resisting Arrest
- Disorderly Conduct
- Disturbing the Peace
Contact Our Massachusetts Criminal Defense Team Today
At Nate Amendola Defense, we understand time is of the essence. Witnesses can forget important details and memories can fade over time. That’s why it’s important to act fast and get help from an experienced defense attorney. At Nate Amendola Defense, we are committed to providing our clients with timely and effective representation. Contact us online or call our office at 781-650-6785 today to start building your defense strategy.
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