Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Tewksbury Road Rage And Massachusetts Assault And Battery Arrests

The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog has begun to more fully discuss the parameters of Massachusetts assault and battery. What will surprise you is how slight touching can result in such a criminal charge. But first, let’s look at a gentleman from Lawrence who is finding out that, sometimes a simple physical expression of his temper is more than simple assault and battery…even if nobody is killed.

The incident took place on Sunday. The police say that 23-year-old Hermenes Rosa (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) encountered he who would become the “Complainant” as the Complainant was leaving a Tewksbury Dunkin Donuts. The Defendant is said to have driven close behind the Complainant’s car, ever nearing the bumper. Then, apparently, the Defendant started yelling obscenities at him.

Following in the display of misguided logic, the Complainant then apparently pulled into a parking lot and exited his car to approach the Defendant.

A little foreshadowing here…it turns out that the parking lot belonged to a state hospital.

The Complainant got out of the vehicle and allegedly confronted the Defendant, who allegedly responded by revving up his engine and driving at him. He then drove another short distance…with the Complainant on the hood.

Finally, the Complainant rolled off the hood and landed on his feet. The Defendant is said to have driven at him again, but then drove off laughing.

Consistent with the good sense he had demonstrated already, the Defendant returned to the scene on foot.

Where he was arrested.

He has been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and assault and battery.

Attorney Sam’s Take On variations of Massachusetts Assault And Battery Crimes

“Sam, how do they know that the Defendant was trying to kill him? After all, it does not even sound like he was really hurt.”

Actually, whether or not the Complainant was seriously injured is beside the point. If he had been, then the grade of assault charge would reflect the serious injury. The charge of attempted murder goes simply to the intent…and whether the Complainant was killed.

“You mean the Defendant would face the same charges regardless of causing any serious injury?”

No. If there were very serious injury, the Defendant could be charged with aggravated assault and battery. He might even be charged with Mayhem.

The Commonwealth’s theory would be that the Defendant wanted to kill him, as is reflected by his striking the Complainant with the car. Of course, key to this argument will be how fast the car was going, which we do not know at this time.

The weapon mentioned in the various charges, of course, is the automobile. That is, the automobile that he apparently did not even have a license to operate.

In this story, there does not seem to be a prior relationship between the Complainant and Defendant. However, if there had been a relationship, then additional charges could be brought…again through the assault charges.

For example, if the Commonwealth believed that the Complainant owed the Defendant money, and this was an attempt to scaring the Complainant into paying, the charge of extortion could be the result. If they were married…it would be a Massachusetts domestic violence incident. Racially motivated? A hate crime.

In all these scenarios, the action taken by the Defendant is the same…only the surrounding circumstances are different.

“What if there were no weapon involved?”

Same charges, minus the weapon.

“Well, what if the assault was really slight? For example, a tap?”

Interesting question, if I did write it myself. Let’s continue this discussion in the next blog.

In order to find the original article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/11/lawrence-man-charged-with-attempted-murder-after-road-rage-incident/

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