If you’ve been charged with assault, you should be fully prepared to defend yourself by understanding how Massachusetts law views assault and self-defense. Self-defense is often one of the most common defenses to an assault and battery charge.
In the state, simple assault is defined as a minor physical or verbal attack. It’s an intentional act done to harm or distress another person. For any action to be considered an assault, the alleged victim must have a reasonable concern that a harmful act will be committed from one person to another. Likewise, a verbal threat must also have an accompanying physical action that indicates a readiness to strike. Simple assault is a misdemeanor while assault with a dangerous weapon is a felony and will result in a prison sentence.
Self-defense, on the other hand, is a right in the state. When someone asserts he or she attacked in self-defense, the claim is usually that the defendant touched the alleged without consent (such as by throwing a punch, pushing the defendant, or kicking the alleged victim). However, the defendant was justified in attacking because the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and the defendant used only enough force to protect against the danger created by the victim.
Likewise, if a defendant is accused of assault by an alleged victim, the criminal defense attorney is allowed to admit any prior convictions, pending cases, or even dismissals of the alleged victim’s record to indicate whether or not that person tends toward violence. This admittance of evidence can help prove the alleged victim is likely to have started the fight.
If you’re facing an assault and battery charge, don’t hesitate to call our skilled Worcester violent crimes attorneys. Assault charges can lead to severe penalties and will be on your permanent criminal record. Let us help you defend your rights and your freedom.
Contact us at (508) 645-4073 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review today.