The Salem News reports that James Chouinard of Peabody Massachusetts was arrested and charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. According to reports, the police responded to an apartment located in Peabody Massachusetts after Chouinard’s sister requested that he be “checked on.” Apparently, he called his sister and informed her that he “took” a lot of pills. When the police arrived, the authorities claim that Chouinard would not let them in and waved a sword at them. He was charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Salem News reported that he was transported to the Salem Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
In Massachusetts, assault by means of a dangerous weapon is a felony. See, M.G.L. Chapter 265 section 13A. If a defendant is convicted for assault by means of a dangerous weapon in the Superior Court, he or she can receive a sentence of up to five years in state prison. If he is convicted in a district court he or she faces up to two and one half years in jail.
To prove this offense, the government must prove an assault and that it was committed with the use of a dangerous weapon. The prosecution can prove that the defendant’s actions was an attempted battery or was an immediately threatened battery. Under the first theory, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant intended to commit a battery and came reasonably close to doing it. Under this theory of assault, it is not necessary for the Assistant District Attorney to prove tht the victim was put in fear or was even aware of the attempted battery. The second form of assault is commonly referred to as a “threatened battery.” Here, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to put the victim in fear of an imminent battery and committed an act which the victim reasonably perceived as an imminently threatening battery.
The aggravating element in this crime is that the assault was committed with a dangerous weapon. The dangerous weapon does not have to be a gun, knife or other item that is commonly believed to be a weapon. Any object can be a weapon if it has the apparent ability to inflict harm. Cigarette lighters, shoes, and even a pencil may be considered a dangerous weapon in the appropriate circumstances.
If you are charged with simple assault, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon or any violent offense it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney as early as possible. In order to successfully defend against these types of crimes. It is important to have a trial attorney on your side early in the case.
Our Attorney appears in many Massachusetts court houses including Lawrence, Peabody, Lowell, Newburyport and defends individuals charged with all types of offenses. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime contact Our Attorney and she will get to work on your case immediately.