Everyone who is accused of a crime is considered equal in the eyes of the law. But what about the victims? Can you face more serious offenses for targeting one specific victim rather than another? The answer is complicated. There are certain laws that make penalties much worse for specifically targeting minorities. On the other hand, there may be "unwritten laws" that make it much more likely to suffer serious penalties when you attack a vulnerable member of society. Let's examine two recent cases in Massachusetts:
Teens Face Charges for Assaulting Homeless Man
On April 10th, it was reported that a number of teens had been arrested for taunting and assaulting a homeless man. Onlookers witnessed the teens take the man's hat, taunt him, and shove him. They were apparently trying to start a fight. Witnesses called the police, and the teens attempted to flee when the authorities arrived. One of the teens was caught soon thereafter, while the other evaded the police for a considerable distance.
He was eventually apprehended, but not before assaulting a police officer in an attempt to escape. The question of whether a 17-year-old should be tried as an adult has been a subject of considerable debate in Massachusetts, but it is clear that these teens will face the full brunt of the law – mainly because of the defenseless nature of their victim.
Woman Faces Possible Hate Crime for Road Rage Incident
On April 6, it was reported that a woman in Massachusetts was facing potential hate crimes after a road rage incident in Marlboro. After nearly rear-ending the victim, the attacker became enraged, followed the victim, and assaulted her. She also reportedly yelled the words, "Go back to your country!" This can certainly be viewed as a hate crime under the current legal system. She is also facing aggravated assault cars because she used her car keys to assault the victim, knocking out a tooth in the process. The victim is said to be of Brazilian descent.
Do Victims Matter?
Victims can affect your penalties in Massachusetts assault cases, even if it is not specifically written in the law. Putting aside the matter of hate crimes, jurors are human beings. And as human beings, they react differently when they hear about an old lady being assaulted compared to a young man. There is an underlying notion that this is a heinous crime, and your chances of positive results go down when the victim is especially vulnerable.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Massachusetts Defense Attorney?
If you have been accused of assault or another violent crime in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants with a wide range of crimes, including assault. We know how daunting this situation can be, especially if your offense is considered especially heinous because of the nature of the victim. With our help, you can strive for the best possible results and fight back in court with a solid defense strategy. Book your consultation today.