Assault and Battery on Public Employee

Assault and Battery on a Public Employee- Massachusetts
Assault and Battery on a Police Officer (ABPO)- Massachusetts
Defense Attorney

In Massachusetts, it is not uncommon for police to incorrectly charge someone with Assault and Battery on a Public Employee. In order to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecution must prove that the alleged victim was engaged in the performance of his or her official duties at the time.  It is not uncommon for the police to charge someone with this offense because he/she committed A&B on a person who, at the time, was "on the clock" as a public employee. That is not enough for you to be found guilty.  The prosecution must show that the alleged victim was performing some act as part of his/her official duty, and they must also prove that you knew that the person was working as a public employee at the time of the assault and battery.  This usually arises in the case of assault and battery on a police officer: If you get into a fight with a plain-clothed police officer, who never identifies himself as such, and you have no other way of reasonably knowing he is working in his official capacity of a police officer, you are not guilty of assault and battery on a public employee. However, you may still be convicted of the lesser included offense of assault and battery.

Unlike a charge of simple Assault and Battery, a conviction for this offense carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 90 days, up to 2 1/2 years.  This is a significant reason to try to have the charge amended down to the lesser offense of Assault and Battery if you are trying to work out a plea deal.


Even if a police officer has justifiable cause to put his hands on you, that does not mean that he can use excessive force.  If you find yourself in danger of physical harm, you can use force commensurate with that which you reasonably believe you are facing.  This applies even if the physical harm you are facing is at the hands of an on-duty police officer or other public official.  Unfortunately, even if you use reasonable force to protect yourself, you will probably find yourself facing criminal charges of Assault and Battery on a Public Employee.  After all, if the officer was employing force against you, he is unlikely to believe (or admit) that his force was excessive.  This is an issue that we will take up at trial.

If you find yourself charged with Assault and Battery on a Public Employee in Massachusetts or any other criminal offense, contact my office for your free initial phone consultation:

Urbelis Law, LLC
98 North Washington St.
Suite 403
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 830-2188
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