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What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

December 12, 2021

While assault and battery are similar, they are not the same. When someone commits an act that causes the victim to have a reasonable fear of danger or unwanted touch, this is referred to as battery. Assault, on the other hand, occurs when someone intentionally injures or offends the victim.

While the charges are similar, the law distinguishes between them. Because both assault and battery are serious offenses, it’s critical to understand the difference, especially if you’re facing these charges. So, what is the difference between assault and battery? Read on to find out, then reach out to a violent crime defense lawyer at our firm for help.

Penalties for Assault and Battery

Regardless of the definition used in a jurisdiction, whether the broad definition of assault or the individual definition of assault, a crime of this nature is classified as a first-degree felony, which, of course, makes the defendant a criminal. This can result in a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 25 years.

For a misdemeanor conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender wilfully or physically injured another person. A more serious offense than simple assault is aggravated assault, a felony that causes serious or substantial bodily harm to the victim.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

The crime of assault includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Throwing an object at someone
  • Pointing a weapon at someone and threatening them
  • Beating someone or threatening to kill them
  • Attempting to rape another person and other kinds of sexual assault

How Do Assault and Battery Charges Vary Across Jurisdictions?

In some jurisdictions, assault and battery are combined into a single felony. This is due to the fact that the perpetrator intends to cause bodily harm. Assault is defined as causing physical contact or unlawful touching, whereas battery is defined as threatening such contact.

In some jurisdictions, assault is defined as making intentional physical contact or touching another person without their consent or under threat of force. In these states, the definition of assault incorporates the definition of assault in other jurisdictions. The range of penalties for assault is determined by the severity of the alleged offense.

Possible Defenses for Assault and Battery

The degree of assault is defined differently in each jurisdiction. Self-defense, defense of another, and defense of property are common assault defenses.

To determine the best course of action if you have been accused of assault, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You have the legal right to defend yourself, and you may have options to have the charges reduced or even dismissed in some cases. In any case, it is smart to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s frightening to be facing criminal charges like assault or battery, and there are many things you need to know in order to build an effective defense. For more information on the difference between assault and battery, reach out to our team at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. Fill out our contact form below, or call 214-665-6930.


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