Aggravated assault in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, is a felony and involves an intentional and violent act of inflicting physical harm on a person. Circumstances that may result in an aggravated assault charge include, the defendant inflicting physical harm on a pregnant woman or unlawfully touching a victim protected by a restraining order. In both circumstances, the defendant must have known or should have reasonably known of the victim’s pregnancy status or the existence of the restraining order against them.
Crime data compiled by the FBI in 2017 showed that there were 32 reported cases of aggravated assaults in Norfolk County and 7 cases each in 2018 and 2019.
What is Sexual Assault in Norfolk County?
Sexual assault is the act of sexually touching a person without consent. Under Massachusetts law, there is no specific crime named sexual assault. However, the law states other related crimes to sexual assaults such as rape, assault or assault and battery, assault with intent to commit rape, and indecent assault and battery.
The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) provides free services to support victims and survivors of sexual assault and rape in Norfolk County. Centers for Adult Sexual Assault & Rape Services in Norfolk offer free services. They are
BIDMC- Social Work Department Rose 200
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston MA 02215
Phone: (617) 667 - 8141
The center provides crisis intervention safety planning and individual and group counseling for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, homicide, and community violence.
3815 Washington Street,
Boston MA 02130
(781) 861 - 0890
This center extends support to minors who are victims of violence. The service is also available to the victims’ families.
What Happens When you Press Charges Against Someone for Assault in Norfolk County?
Pressing charges against a person for assault means they could face serious criminal liability and may require legal representation. Consequences for assault may include incarceration in state prison, house of correction, or heavy fines. The court imposes stiffer punishments on offenders who are convicted for aggravated assault.
Under Massachusetts law, assault can be charged in different ways.
- Anyone who uses deadly weapons to threaten or inflict physical harm on another person may be charged with assault or assault battery in Norfolk, according to Massachusetts law Chapter 265 Section 13A.
- Engaging in a physical attack or physical contact with a child below 14 can attract charges of committing indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. In this case, a 14-year-old is considered incapable of giving consent.
- Anyone who assaults a child below 14 years while committing an armed or unarmed burglary offense, breaking and entering a structure, kidnapping, and other related crimes will be charged with the commission of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 during the commission of certain offenses or by mandated reporters.
- A formerly convicted offender of indecent assault, rape, or other crimes related to assaults on a child, who is found guilty of assault and battery on another occasion will likely be charged with the commission of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 by certain previously convicted offenders.
- Committing assault for the sole purpose of collecting a loan attracts charges of assault and battery to collect a loan.
- Assaulting a public employee, a policeman, or attempting to disarm a policeman.
It is advisable to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately upon arrest, when facing an assault charge, building a defense as a pro se defendant may be a daunting task but a professional in the field will analyze the facts of the case and may be able to build a convincing argument on
- Self Defense: A lawyer may claim that the defendant was merely exercising their right to defend themselves, they took reasonable steps to retreat and used only reasonable force to protect themselves from harm as required under Massachusetts Laws.
- Consent: The defense of consent may be used in a situation where an individual consents to offensive touching. This means that there must have been an agreement between the parties involved. In 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a case involving the Commonwealth and John Carey that consent is not a permissible defense when a deadly weapon is involved.
- Accident: Since the law states that the touching must be intentional, a lawyer may assert the touching was accidental.
How Long Can You Go to Jail for Assault in Norfolk County?
Sentences for an assault conviction are dependent on the charges on which the accused is prosecuted.
- Assault or assault and battery is punishable with a maximum jail term of 2 and a half years in a house of correction. The offender may also be asked to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.
- Assault while violating restraining order under Massachusetts Laws, section 18,34B or 34C of chapter 208, section 3,4, or 5 of Chapter 209A, section 15 or 20 of Section 209C, or section 32 of chapter 209 is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment in the state prison, 2 and a half years sentence to the house of correction or by a maximum fine of $5,000. The offender may also be punished with both jail term and fine.
- Assault upon a pregnant person while fully aware of their condition, attracts a maximum of 5 years imprisonment or 2 and a half years in a house of correction. The offender may also pay either a fine of $5,000 or be punished with both a fine and jail term.
- Indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14: The penalty for an offense of indecent assault and battery on children under the age of 14 is a maximum of 10 years jail term in the state prison. The offender may also be imprisoned in the house of correction for not more than 2 and a half years.
- Indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 during the commission of certain offenses or by mandated reporters may result in a minimum of 10 years in state prison or up to life imprisonment. Also, such individuals are not eligible for parole, work release, probation, furlough, or any kind of privilege that leads to a reduced sentence.
- Indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14 by a repeat offender is punishable by a minimum of 15 years imprisonment and up to life jail term in the state prison. The person does not have the right to any benefits like work release, furlough, and others.
- Assault and battery to collect a loan. The offender will be punished by a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years imprisonment in a jail or house of correction. For a second offense, the accused will face imprisonment in the state prison between five and ten years.
- Penalties for assaults and battery on a police officer or other public employees and attempt to disarm a police officer is a minimum of 90 days imprisonment and up to 2 and a half years in a house of correction. The offender may be required to pay a fine between $500 to $5,000. Anyone guilty of assaulting a police officer who is on duty and attempts to disarm the officer while the police officer is performing his duty is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in the state prison or up to a $1,000 fine. The offense is also punishable by 2 and a half years of jail in the house of Corrections.
A common condition of probation after admission or accepting a plea on assault is completing either of these programs:
- Anger Management. The offender will be mandated to complete a 16-week course on anger management.
- Certified Batter’s Program that runs for 40 weeks.
Simple Assault vs Aggravated Assault in Norfolk County
Simple assault is a less serious form of aggravated assault that involves limited use of threat on the victim and leads to a minor injury, while aggravated assault includes the use of a weapon and inflicting severe injuries on the victim. A simple assault does not necessarily involve physical touching or inflicting any bodily harm. Any wilful display of force or instilling fear of being physically harmed on a person is simple assault. While simple assault is considered a misdemeanor under law, aggravated assault is a felony. The use of a deadly weapon during an assault elevates the offense to aggravated assault.