Assault is any conduct by an individual or a group of people that creates a reasonable fear of harmful contact. Therefore, assault can be shaking a fist at someone or holding a loaded gun to someone’s head without firing it. Battery involves intentional, physical contact without the person’s consent that is offensive or results in bodily harm. Battery typically includes assault, but assault can occur without battery.
The defendant does not need to make physical contact with the victim to constitute battery; they only need to “intend” to make contact. Therefore, even if the accused person did not intend to actually cause harm, they can still be found guilty of battery. Examples of this include poisoning someone’s drink and throwing an object at someone.
Both assault and battery are generally considered misdemeanors, and punishable by jail time or a fine. However, if there is other criminal conduct that accompanies the assault and battery, the court could include a community service sentence. If you have been charged with assault or battery, it’s important that you speak with a qualified defense attorney who will provide you with a strong defense.
Examples of Assault and Battery
These criminal actions can range from minor to severe. Some instances of assault and battery include:
- Pushing, shoving, provoking
- Physical altercations and fights
- Domestic violence
- Road rage
- Aggravated Assault
Certain assaults and batteries are categorized as aggravated. This means that a deadly weapon such as a gun was involved in the crime. Aggravated assault can also be defined as the intent to cause serious bodily harm or intentionally or recklessly causes such an injury. This type of assault is more serious and the defendant may be charged with a felony, which may result in harsher penalties. Sometimes police officers who use excessive violence on victims will attempt to cover up their actions by charging the victim with battery.
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