Ryan P. Sullivan
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Assault and Battery With a Dangerous Weapon Defense Lawyer

Whether it is an allegation from a stranger, a road rage incident, or a case of domestic violence, if a weapon is involved, the police will bring charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. This charge (Chapter 265, section 15A of the Massachusetts General Laws) increases the penalty that you would face with a charge of assault and battery because using a weapon is a felony matter punishable by 10 years in state prison (or 2 1/2 years in the house of corrections) and/or substantial fines.

The dangerous weapon does not have to be one that is commonly thought of as "dangerous" or "deadly". Rather, any object that is used in a way that is, or reasonably appears to be, capable of causing serious injury or death to another person is considered a dangerous weapon under the law. Any person who is accused of using an object, whether it is a pencil, a knife, or even a shoe, and they touch another person with that object, the police can enhance the charge of assault and battery and it becomes assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Types of Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon (ABDW)

There are two types of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon: intentional and reckless ABDW.

  1. Intentional ABDW:

    As you may expect, a person who is armed with a dangerous weapon that touches another person with that "weapon" (not accidentally) can be found guilty of the charge. At trial, a jury will be told that a person normally intends the natural consequences of their actions. The prosecution will simply need to prove that the person wanted the weapon to harm the other party. A defense to this theory can be that the action committed was a mistake (or that it was done in self-defense).

  2. Reckless ABDW:

    The defense plan does not end there however. The prosecutor can attempt to prove this crime by demonstrating that the action performed was reckless instead of intentional. Basically, the jury would be told that if you knew or should have known your action could result in an injury to another person and you did it anyway, that you were being reckless. Reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon requires another element: actual injury. Although many people believe that you need to truly hurt someone to be guilty (or charged) with this crime, you can be arrested for ABDW even if no one was hurt. However, for you to be charged with reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, some injury is required.

For example, if you pick up a rock and throw it, hitting another person, you may be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. If on the other hand, you are casually throwing rocks over a tall fence and the rock hits someone, you can only be found guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon if the rock caused an injury to that other person. The law recognizes that mistake doesn't always mean that a crime was committed.

What to do if You are Charged With Assault and Battery With a Dangerous Weapon?

If you or a loved one is facing this charge, or any of the enhanced similar charges, you may wish to contact an experienced assault and battery with a dangerous weapon defense attorney.

Ryan Sullivan has successfully defended several of these cases using a variety of methods. Knowing the local prosecutors and judges, Ryan has been able to argue that charges should be lowered, has successfully demonstrated an argument of self-defense at trial, and has made other client-specific arguments to help his clients. To find out whether Ryan Sullivan is the right fit for your case, call or text 978-221-6012, or contact us through the website to discuss your case and set up a free consultation.

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Ryan Sullivan is a very knowledgeable attorney. He is one of my go-to professionals when I am seeking insight on more complicated criminal matters. Without any reservations, he has my vote of confidence. Ilya
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