The Difference Between Assault and Battery

There can be a lot of confusion around the difference between a crime of assault and battery and in the state of Massachusetts, you can either be charged with the crime of assault or the crime of assault and battery. It’s very common for individuals to use the two terms interchangeably, but there are a lot of differences between the two.

The Difference Between Crimes of Assault and Assault and Battery

According to Massachusetts state law, a battery is “harmful or unpermitted touching of another person” and is when someone hits another person or touches them with the intent of harm. Assault is the events leading up to a battery, but a battery does not have to occur for an assault to be present.

There are two types of assault:

  1. Attempted Battery – An attempt to use physical force against another
  2. Immediate Threatened Battery – Demonstrating the intent to physically harm an individual

When a prosecutor is establishing an attempted battery, they must prove the defendant:

  • Intended to commit a battery
  • Took a step towards accomplishing the battery
  • Came close to committing the battery on an individual

When a prosecutor is establishing an immediate threatened battery, they must prove the defendant:

  • Intended to frighten the victim into believing they would be harmed; and
  • Made a step towards the individual that caused the victim to be fearful of harm

Elements of the Crime of Assault and Battery

There are several elements under Massachusetts state law the combine together to form a crime of assault and battery. These include:

  1. The defendant touched another individual without the right or a valid reason to do so;
  2. The defendant intended to touch the individual;
  3. The touch was to cause bodily harm or without the individual’s consent.

The element of touch must be proved by the prosecutor, but the intent of bodily harm is not required to prove a crime of assault and battery.

Penalties for Assault and Assault and Battery

Under Massachusetts state law, if you are convicted of a crime of assault or a crime of assault and battery, you may be facing:

  • Up to 2 ½ years in a house of corrections; or
  • A fine up to $1,000

Attorney Benjamin Urbelis

With more complex cases, additional penalties might be added.

If you are facing a conviction of the crime of assault or the crime of assault and battery, contact our criminal defense team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.

Knowing Your Rights When Pulled Over by Police

When being pulled over by police for a suspected DUI, it’s important to know your rights. More often than not, people tend to be very compliant with these types of traffic stops and have been taught over the years to be as cooperative as possible.

What people do not typically know is that being cooperative with all requests from officers can lead to your detriment. Knowing which requests are within your rights to decline and which you legally have to adhere is crucial.

Responding to Questioning

When an officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, there are several questions the officer(s) will ask you. They will first request your license, registration, and proof of insurance, which you must provide.

If the officer(s) ask if you have been drinking, you have the right to refuse to answer since answering this question can be incriminating. The officer(s) will then ask you to step out of your vehicle and it is within your rights to respectfully decline and remain in your vehicle unless you are placed under arrest. If you are placed under arrest, you must comply.

Field Sobriety Tests

After exiting your vehicle, the officer(s) might ask you to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer and in Massachusetts, you have the right to decline this request. These tests can be difficult to complete due to the stress of the situation, even if you have not been consuming alcohol.

If you are placed under arrest for a DUI, you will be asked to submit a breathalyzer or chemical test at the station. You do have a right to refuse these tests but in the state of Massachusetts, if you decide to refuse them, your license may be suspended due to previous arrests or convicted DUIs.

What to Do After a DUI Arrest

After a DUI arrest, the first thing you should do is hire Benjamin Urbelis of Urblis Law, LLC as your DUI attorney. For over ten years, Attorney Benjamin P. Urbelis has been representing clients across Massachusetts and has earned multiple trial advocacy honors.

Do not say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions until your DUI attorney, Benjamin Urbelis, is present. Your DUI attorney will provide representation for both the administrative and criminal components of your DUI charge and will aggressively work to minimize any consequences you are facing.

To schedule your free consultation with Urbleis Law, LLC, call us today at (617) 830-2188.