Lawrence, Massachusetts police responded to an apartment on South Broadway Thursday night in response to a domestic assault and battery 911 call. During the call police were able to hear the couple arguing. When they arrived they found the defendant and his girlfriend both of whom denied making the call and any abuse. The police told the defendant to leave the apartment. He complied only to return later in the evening. At 9:35 p.m. the girlfriend called 911 to report that the defendant had returned and threatened her with a knife. When the police returned to the apartment they found the girlfriend waiting for them outside. She reported that the defendant had returned drunk, picked up a kitchen knife, pointed it at her and threatened to cut her throat. Officers entered the apartment after which a struggle with police ensued. The defendant was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and threatening to commit a crime. Charges are pending in the Lawrence District Court.
Assuming the case remains in the district court, a likely scenario, the defendant is looking at the following:
1. Assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. This is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 15A. The law provides a district court sentence of up to 2 1/2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. An assault and battery is the intentional and unjustified use of force upon the person of another however slight. It may be proved by showing the intentional commission of a wanton or reckless act. It must be something more than gross negligence and it must cause physical or bodily injury to another. The district attorney must prove both the assault and the battery. Here, to prove this case the prosecutor must show that the defendant touched the knife to his girlfriend. Many objects suffice to establish the element of dangerous weapon. It should be no surprise that a knife is considered a dangerous weapon.
2. Assault and battery on a police officer. This act is prohibited by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13D. That law states verbatim that "Whoever commits an assault and battery upon any public employee when such person is engaged in the performance of his duties at the time of such assault and battery, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ninety days nor more than two and one-half years in a house of correction or by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars." This crime is almost always charged in cases where police officers use force, particularly severe force in the course of an arrest or investigation. The large majority of times that I am retained on one of these cases my client appears in my office with bruises, cuts and sometimes broken bones. Almost always the bruises are on parts of the body that are usually covered by clothing. The story is typically the same. The police arrive at an alleged crime scene and conduct an investigation. The defendant argues with them or "challenges" them by requesting a badge number, threatening to sue them or report them to their superiors. The officers respond with unlawful and unnecessary force, many times excessive force and they arrest the person. Now, to protect themselves they charge the individual with assault and battery on a police officer.
We defend people accused of the crimes the defendant in this case is accused of having committed. As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firm we are committed to protecting the rights of people charged with crimes including domestic assault and battery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly person. Stephen Neyman is a diligent experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer. Contact our office now to discuss your case.
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