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What To Know About Assault and Battery Laws in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, battery is defined as the harmful or unpermitted touching of another person. As for assault, there are two types—attempted battery and immediate threatened battery. 

An attempted battery is an attempt to physically harm a person while an immediate threatened battery is a demonstration of intent to harm a person physically. 

In an attempted battery, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to commit battery, or took an action with the intent to harm someone physically, or the defendant came close to committing battery against another person. 

On the other hand, in an immediate threatened battery, the prosecutor must prove that the victim was aware or in fear of the attempted battery. He or she must prove that there was an intent to make the victim believe that they would be harmed or that a move was made against them that caused them to be fearful of being physically hurt by another person. 

There are certain elements that must be present to constitute an assault and battery charge. These include:

  • The defendant touched another person without permission or any valid reason to do so
  • The defendant had the intent to touch the other person
  • The touch caused physical harm or was done without the other person’s consent

Assault is a threat of some type of violence against another person, while battery is the actually physical contact of another person without consent. Keep in mind that no actual bodily harm has to result to file an assault and battery charge in the state. 

There are different levels of assault and battery charges in the state, such as: 

  • Assault and battery on a pregnant woman, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, person under the age of 14, a person over the age of sixty, or a mentally handicapped person
  • Use of a dangerous weapon
  • Committing an indecent assault and battery
  • Breaching an active restraining order against you

Moreover, Massachusetts recognizes different, more serious forms of assault and battery: 

  • Aggravated assault and battery
  • Assault and battery upon a child
  • Assault and battery upon a police officer
  • Indecent assault and battery
  • Assault with intent to commit a felony
  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
  • Assault with intent to rob or murder
  • Sexual assault

Assault and Battery Punishment

The punishment for assault and battery varies. Generally, it includes up to two-and-a-half years in jail while prison time and fines vary depending on the type of assault.

Assault and battery charges are punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, if it’s done to a child, it is punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail or up to five years in prison, while substantial bodily injury to a child can have a person in jail for up to two-and-a-half years or up to 15 years in prison.

If it’s done against a public employee, emergency medical technician, ambulance operator, healthcare provider that is engaged in their duties, the charge will be punishable by 90 days to two-and-a-half years in jail or a fine between $500 and $5,000.

If the victim is a firefighter doing his or her duties or the offender tried to disarm a police officer during the assault, the punishment includes up to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $1,000. 


The laws for assault and battery vary per state. If you live in Massachusetts, it’s essential to be aware of the pertinent legislation to ensure that your interests are protected when a charge is filed against you. In such cases, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer who can guide you through legal proceedings and solidify your defense.

For assault and battery cases, you need the best criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts. Contact The Fernandez Firm today and let us help you with your case.