Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Potential Strategies for Defending Against Assault Charges

A man in Medford was arrested in November after a woman was attacked and sexually assault in Middlesex Fells Reservation. The man was subsequently charged with armed assault to murder, assault, and battery with a dangerous weapon leading to serious bodily harm, kidnapping, and several aggravated rape counts. The Middlesex County District Attorney’s later reported that the suspect did not know the woman.  

State law enforcement informed the public about the incident and stated that the woman was walking close to Leslie Road Trail close to South Border Road when she was assaulted. Law enforcement states that the offense occurred in Winchester, but it was later revealed that the incident took place in Medford. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect hit the woman with a rock several times before he sexually assaulted her and then fled the scene. The Massachusetts State Police as well as the Winchester Police collected evidence from the scene that led to them identifying the attacker and locating him at his residence. The man was arrested without incident and was expected to be arraigned in Somerville District Court. The woman was treated for serious injuries at a nearby medical facility. 

The charge of assault is a serious offense that carries substantial penalties for people in Massachusetts who are convicted of the offense. People should understand that creating a defense to an assault charge depends on a careful review of the facts surrounding a case. As a result, not all defenses to assault are as good a fit or even available in each situation. Consider some of the following ways that people defend against assault charges. 

Self Defense 

A person in Massachusetts is permitted to defend themselves if that individual is faced with the threat of harm or violence. To raise self-defense as a strategy, a person must be able to demonstrate that the person was faced with harm that they feared and did not have a chance to retreat. Massachusetts law also requires a person to do everything reasonable to avoid using force. This means that a person must first attempt to retreat. 

Defending Others

Defending others is another technique used to overcome assault charges if a person steps in to protect another individual that they believe is facing imminent and real threats of harm. When defending others, a person facing assault charges must demonstrate that they feared for the individual they protected and that the person who was protected did not have the opportunity to get away from the source of harm. 

Defending Property 

In Massachusetts, a person can utilize reasonable (but not deadly) force to defend that person’s property against an individual who has no right to the property. In these situations, the person who exercises the force must be protecting their own property. 

Contact an Experienced Massachusetts Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing an assault charge, you should consider immediately contacting an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.