The crime of Armed Assault is the felonious assault of another with the intention to cause serious physical injury. Massachusetts General Laws Section 18 provides stiff penalties for those who commit Armed Assault by using a deadly weapon, or any other instrument to inflict serious physical injury. The statutory penalty for Armed Assault includes: confinement for not more than one year, a fine of not more than $500, by way of corrections, rehabilitation, or instruction, a repayment plan, probation, and the immediate return of all weapons to the person from whom they were seized. Armed Assault in Massachusetts is usually used as an element in a robbery charge, but the law does not recognize it as a viable excuse on its own. "Armed Assault" is defined as causing serious physical injury or wrongful death to another individual, when there is an obvious lawful reason for such injury.
In addition to the penalties already described above, individuals charged with Armed Assault in Massachusetts also may be required to pay additional penalties under specific circumstances. Aggravated assault, which is a charge involving an assault with a deadly weapon or serious bodily harm, is punished by a sentence of life imprisonment with all additional enhancements. The penalties for aggravated assault also include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years, although this may not be a mandatory sentence under some statutes. Additionally, the charges of aggravated assault are very serious, and carrying a weapon without a license is usually a violation of the law.
For example, if you are accused of second-degree murder, even though you did not use a deadly weapon or use any dangerous weapon in the commission of your alleged crime, you will still be charged with first-degree assault, which carries a penalty of a sentence of life imprisonment. The same is true if you are charged with assault after the fact (after the incident occurs). In such cases, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the victim has suffered actual physical injuries from the assault, or the victim is deceased. In order to be found guilty of aggravated assault, or any other crime, the state of Massachusetts requires that there be an "aggravated" or "hostile" attitude towards another person, and that the accused did indeed use a dangerous weapon during the commission of the crime. Therefore, even if you believe that you were the victim of a dangerous weapons violation, and that you could not reasonably have been expected to suffer any injury from the incident, if you have been found guilty of aggravated assault, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.