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Understanding The Difference Between Assault And Battery

what is assault vs battery

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Both battery and assault are types of crimes but are different types of offenses. Many people confuse battery with assault offenses in conversation, so it’s important to emphasize the key differences between them.

Even though these are distinct crimes, those who are charged with them are commonly subject to severe penalties. Whether it is an assault or battery charge, they’re often convicted and prosecuted to the heaviest legal penalties. As a result, they may end up spending years in prison.

To make sure a criminal charge is appropriate, it is best to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. You want to work with a lawyer who will make it easier for you to fight against a criminal charge and provide you with all the resources required to avoid being found guilty. Read on to familiarize yourself with the key differences between assault and battery.

Assault vs Battery: The Main Difference Between Them

If you are charged with the crime of assault or battery, this means there was the real presence of harm – be it force or violence – or just the threat of harm. A battery charge means there was actual physical contact and harm. Assault only implicates the threat of harm without the act of physically harming somebody. It is the main difference between assault and battery.

Because of distinct charges, there could be various penalties in the event of a conviction, depending on the degree of assault. The most common penalties include:

Those charged with simple assault are usually required to pay a fine of up to $1,200 or spend a few months in jail. However, a misdemeanor or felony can be much harsher in some cases and the criminal conviction consequences are frightening sometimes.
Therefore, it is of great importance to understand the difference and get charged properly. Continue reading to find out more about different types of charges.

Aggravated Assault

This is a type of felony that might implicate an assault leading to severe bodily injury or one that involves the use of a deadly weapon. Also, an assault may be regarded as aggravated if a defender has intended to commit a severe offense like rape, for example.
In any case, this felony is more violent than a simple assault. Note that assaults can be considered aggravated if the system of justice believes that they deserve special protection. Moreover, assaults on police officers or law enforcement officials are considered to be aggravated, too.

Aggravated Battery

It is a crime that is typically accompanied by harmful or offensive contact. To convict someone of aggravated battery, a prosecutor has to prove the elements such as

  • The victim of crime truly has a severe bodily injury (or serious harm) that is a consequence of either touching or force; and
  • The victim has been touched by the offender unlawfully and willfully (on purpose or willingly) so that it has been done in an offensive or harmful way.

Simple Assault

This assault usually results in a misdemeanor penalty, which is why it is called a misdemeanor assault in some states. In general, it is a crime that involves physical contact resulting in a minor injury or the danger of immediate harm.
For instance, an act that involves threatening to beat someone up or raising a hand against that person would be treated as a simple assault in most states. A simple assault may also involve bruising as a result of slapping or shoving someone (the alleged victim).

Simple Battery

To be considered a simple battery, an offense should involve inflicting offensive or harmful contact on the victim. Unlike an aggravated battery, there is neither great bodily harm nor serious bodily injury to the victim. That makes a difference.

The use of violence or force on the victim has to be both unlawful and willful to be defined as a simple battery. Bear in mind that even the slightest indirect touching is deemed to be a simple battery sometimes.

Raise a Legal Defense!

Regardless of the type of charge, defendants should always consider raising a legal defense. Whether you’re charged with assault or battery, be sure to get legal aid promptly to increase your chances of reducing or dismissing a criminal charge.

If you are looking for a knowledgeable and trusted Maui criminal defense lawyer, look no further. You have just found what you’re seeking. In addition to raising a defense on your behalf, we will explain the relevant laws and give you advice on the best options.

Related: Important Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Before Hiring

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