Assault & Battery Crimes

Assault & Battery Defense

Attorney Patrick M. Gioia has extensive experience litigating assault and battery related offenses in both district and superior court from arraignment to trial. He has successfully won dismissal of such charges by motion citing lack of evidence, and at trial, putting forth various defenses based on legal justification, self-defense, mis-identification, and fabrication. Attorney Gioia’s experience and knowledge of the law in the area of assault and battery have led to sustained success in the courtroom for his clients charged with like offenses. If you are charged with assault and battery call, text or email today for trusted advice and counsel you can depend on.

What is Assault & Battery?

There are several different assault and battery related offenses in Massachusetts. The most common are simple assault, assault and battery, domestic assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Assault and battery is typically prosecuted under Massachusetts General Laws c. 265 §13A or §13M and is punishable by up to two and half years in the house of correction. If certain aggravating factors are present, and the case is indicted to superior court, a person upon conviction, may be punished by up to five years in state prison.

To prove assault and battery, the Commonwealth must show, First: That the defendant touched the person of the alleged victim; Second: That the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim; and Third: That the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim, or was offensive.
See Commonwealth v. Ford, 424 Mass. 709, 711 (1997) (assault and battery is a general intent crime and does not require specific intent to injure the victim, but its intentional branch requires an intentional touching, and not merely an intentional act resulting in a touching).

To prove the first element, the Commonwealth must prove the defendant touched the alleged victim. A touching is any physical contact, however slight. A 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. To prove the second element, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim, in the sense that the defendant consciously and deliberately intended the touching to occur, and that the touching was not merely accidental or negligent. To prove the third element, the Commonwealth must prove that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim, or was offensive. A touching is offensive when it is without consent. See Commonwealth v. Burke, 390 Mass. 480, 484 (1983); see also Massachusetts Model Jury Instructions, 6.140 (2019).

There is a second way in which a person may be guilty of an assault and battery. Instead of intentional conduct, it involves reckless conduct that results in bodily injury. See Commonwealth v. Burno, 396 Mass. 622, 625-627 (1986) (“the intentional commission of a wanton or reckless act (something more than gross negligence) causing physical or bodily injury to another”; injury must have “interfered with the health or comfort of the victim. It need not have been permanent, but it must have been more than transient and trifling.

As stated above, Attorney Patrick M. Gioia has extensive experience litigating assault and battery related offenses in both district and superior court from arraignment to trial. He has successfully won dismissal of such charges by motion citing lack of evidence, and at trial, putting forth various defenses based on legal justification, self-defense, mis-identification, and fabrication. Attorney Gioia’s experience and knowledge of the law in the area of assault and battery have led to sustained success in the courtroom for his clients charged with like offenses. If you are charged with assault and battery call, text or email today for trusted advice and counsel you can depend on.

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