Reckless Assault and Battery
- A person is guilty of having committed an assault and battery upon an alleged victim by reckless conduct if the Commonwealth can prove two elements, beyond a reasonable doubt:
- (1)That the defendant intentionally engaged in actions which caused bodily injury to the alleged victim. The injury must be sufficiently serious to interfere with the alleged victim’s health or comfort. It need not be permanent, but it must be more than trifling; and
- (2) That the defendant’s actions amounted to reckless conduct, mere negligence is not enough. Defendant must have knew or should have known that such actions were very likely to cause substantial harm to someone, and he or she ran the risk and went ahead anyway.
- Practice Note
- If the defendants act(s) happened accidentally then the defendant cannot be found guilty of reckless assault and battery.
For example, if an alleged victim were shaken up but by his own admission not injured, or if an alleged victim were to have a sore wrist for only a few minutes, the injury in each instance would be transient and trifling at most and not amount to reckless. Commonwealth v. Burno, 396 Mass. 622 (1986).