Aggravated assault in Suffolk County occurs when a person deliberately or recklessly commits an act that reasonably places another in imminent apprehension or fear of either harmful or offensive contact, and such action includes any aggravating circumstances including but not limited to;
Aggravated assaults are treated seriously in Suffolk County. The crime is considered a felony offense, meaning that a conviction can attract incarceration in the state prison. Generally, aggravated assault is charged in conjunction with battery, which requires intentional touching.
In 2017, Suffolk County registered a total of 418 cases of aggravated assault which represents about 7% of the county’s total crimes at the time. When compared to the statistics for 2019, aggravated assault in Suffolk County has increased significantly by over 167%.
Sexual Assault in Suffolk County involves the intentional and unsolicited touching of another offensively and includes an indecent act, usually touching body parts commonly considered private. The crime is usually punished as the offense of indecent assault and battery. The crime becomes aggravated where the victim is younger than 14 years, and the assault occurred during the commission of a burglary, robbery, or where the defendant was a mandated reporter, such as a nurse, teacher, social worker, or anyone mandated by law to report suspicion or incidents of crimes against or abuse of children.
A sexual assault conviction may result in severe consequences that may include lengthy incarceration, court-ordered GPS monitoring, registration in a public sex offenders register, and court-ordered psychotherapy. Suffolk County recorded a total of 62 fondling cases. In comparison to 2019 numbers, fondling cases in Suffolk County increased by 18%.
Incidences of assault are usually charged as either
Regardless of the assault-type, a defendant may need to rely on the professional guidance and services of an experienced attorney. A criminal defense attorney is trained to investigate the defendant’s case, assemble relevant witnesses and evidence in the defendant’s interest. The attorney may explore procedural and substantive defenses to best represent the defendant’s claims that may include
Self-defense: the defendant may claim their right to defend themselves when attacked. However, to successfully rely on this defense, the defendant must have taken reasonable steps to avoid resorting to force. They also must not have used more force than was reasonably necessary to defend themselves. Massachusetts law requires that a person in such a circumstance must attempt to retreat if possible before resorting to force. Retreating is not required where there is an intrusion into a home, and the occupants believe that the intruder is about to kill or inflict great bodily harm on them.
Defense of necessity or duress: to assert this defense, the defendant must demonstrate that, based on the facts and circumstances, committing an assault caused significantly less harm than if the defendant had complied with the law. The defense of duress exists where the defendant was coerced into performing a criminal act.
Consent: in some circumstances, if an individual consented to the offensive touch, the defense of consent may be available. Consent to offensive touching may occur, for example, when a person agrees to play contact sports. However, consent is not a defense to assault with a dangerous weapon.
Accident: since the law requires that an assault must be intentional, a suspect can avoid conviction by showing that the assault act was accidental.
Defense of Another Person: a person is justified in committing assault against another person to protect a third party if a reasonable person would believe that such intervention was necessary to protect the third party.
Defense of property: This defense justifies committing an assault while protecting one’s home or dwelling.
Penalties for assault in Suffolk County are dependent on the particular act, the status or situation of the victim, and whether a weapon was involved.
Simple assault attracts incarceration in a house of correction for up to 2.5 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000.
An assault that causes bodily injury to a child is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or up to five years in state prison. Under Massachusetts assault laws, a child is any person under the age of 14.
Committing an assault that causes substantial bodily injury to a child is punishable by up to 2.5 years in jail or up to 15 years in state prison.
Reckless or wanton behavior causing bodily injury to a child is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction. Where the bodily injury is substantial, the crime is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or up to five years in state prison.
Committing an assault against public employees in the performance of their duties is punishable by incarceration in a house of correction between 90 days and 2.5 years or a fine between $500 and $5,000. Where the victim is a firefighter or if the offender attempted to disarm a police officer, the offender may face up to ten years in a state prison or 2.5 years in a house of correction and a fine not exceeding $1,000.
An assault that results in serious bodily injury, or that is committed against a pregnant woman, or an assault by a person under a restraining order is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction, or up to five years in state prison, and a fine not exceeding $5,000.
Assault committed on a family or household member for the first time is punishable by incarceration in a house of correction for up to 2.5 years or by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both the fine and imprisonment. A subsequent offense attracts up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or a state prison term not exceeding five years.
Assault committed to collect a loan is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or between three and five years in state prison.
Assault with the intent to commit a felony offense attracts up to 2.5 years in the house of correction and a fine not exceeding $1,000, or up to 10 years in state prison.
Assault committed on a person aged 60 and over or a disabled person is punishable with a term from 2.5 years in a house of correction and a fine of up to $1,000, to a 10-year state prison term and a fine of up to $10,000, depending on the degree of injury inflicted on the victim and the relationship between the victim and the assailant.
Indecent assault committed on a child under the age of 14 is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in state prison or incarceration in the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years. If committed on a mentally retarded person, a first offense is punishable by five to ten years in state prison, while a subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of ten-year imprisonment.
Indecent assault committed on a person aged 14 or over is punishable by a state prison term not exceeding five years or by not more than 2.5 years in a house of correction. If committed on a person age 60 or over or a person with a disability, the first offense attracts a state prison term not exceeding ten years or incarceration in a house of correction for not more than 2.5 years. Subsequent offense is punishable by a state prison term not exceeding 20 years.
Assault with the intent to rape is punishable with a state prison sentence between five years and life imprisonment depending on the victim’s age, whether the offender possessed a weapon or had a previous criminal record.
The crime of simple assault and aggravated assault in Suffolk County are the same as per their elements. However, they can be differentiated in certain aspects. First, aggravated assault ensues where an assault contains aggravating circumstances such as causing bodily injury, involving a pregnant woman, or a public employee. Second, aggravated assault is a felony, while simple assault is a misdemeanor. This impacts the seriousness of the punishment for the crime. For example, a conviction for simple assault will not attract a state prison term. Suffolk County recorded a total of 2,715 simple assault cases in 2019, 143% higher than the county’s number of aggravated assaults within the same period.