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Hinman Law Blog

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes, which involve the threat or use of physical force against another person, are prosecuted very aggressively in Massachusetts. It is imperative to have a criminal lawyer representing you at each step of the process. Most violent crimes are felonies, and have the potential to result in lengthy jail or prison time. If you are facing violent crime charges, your case may move from District Court to Superior Court through the indictment process. You may also be held while your case is pending, if you are unable to make bail. Having a criminal attorney prepare an argument for a bail hearing is an important step in the process. Being able to tell the judge relevant information about you and your case can make a significant difference. You can read more about bail hearings here. Violent Crimes Attorney Kathryn F. Hinman has extensive experience handling these types of cases, and will work hard to protect your rights and keep you out of jail. Common violent crimes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assault
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Assault and Battery
  • Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon
  • Violation of a Restraining Order
  • Assault and Battery/Serious Bodily Injury
  • Assault with Intent to Murder

Self Defense

Self Defense is a common defense in violent crime cases. If you raise this defense, then the prosecutor has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you did not act in self defense. In determining whether or not you acted in self defense, a judge or jury will consider the reasonableness of the force that you used, given the circumstances. For example, some factors that may be considered are the relative size and strength of the victim and the defendant; the nature of any weapons used; and whether or not any means of escape or retreat was available. If a judge or jury finds that you did everything possible to avoid physical combat, then you were properly entitled to defend yourself and you will be found not guilty of the underlying charge. History between you and the victim can also be taken into consideration – for example, if the victim had made threats or acted violently in the past. The victim’s reputation for violence can also be taken into consideration.

If you use deadly force in your own defense, a judge or jury must find that you had a reasonable apprehension of great bodily harm or death, and that no other means would have sufficed to protect yourself. Deadly force is defined as force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. Your lawyer must prove that, given the circumstances, you acted with force commensurate to the injury or possible death that you reasonably believed you were facing. If you are being charged with a violent crime where you were acting in self defense, it is important to have a criminal lawyer to tell your side of the story. Mounting an effective self-defense strategy can mean the difference between acquittal and prison.

If you have been charged with a violent crime in Dedham, Westwood, Wellesley, Natick, Needham, Framingham, Quincy, Cambridge, Sudbury, Wayland, Newton, Boston, or anywhere in Suffolk, Middlesex, or Norfolk County, contact Attorney Hinman at 617-283-4480, or by using the form to the left.