Most of the time assault and battery are offenses that go hand in hand when it comes to impute charges. Nevertheless is not always the case and therefore is important to define each term separately. On one hand, an assault is an attempt or threat using violence or force to injure someone else, sometimes this act is known as an attempted battery. On the other hand, battery is the act of making contact with someone else in a harmful or offensive way. To sum up, both terms differ from each other in the way that no contact is necessary for an assault, whereas an offensive or illegal contact must take place for a battery.
With all this clear, usually an injured victim can charge a person with both or each assault and/or battery. The litigation path is complex and full with legal procedures depending on the type of injury, the way it happened, and what evidence is available.
TYPES OF ASSAULT OR BATTERY
- Striking or threatening to strike a person with a weapon or dangerous object
- Shooting a person with a gun or threatening to kill someone while pointing a gun at the victim
- Assault or battery with the intent to commit another felony crime such as robbery or rape
- Assault or battery resulting in serious physical injury, including permanent disfigurement
- Assault (threat of violence) while concealing one's identity
- Assault or battery against a member of a protected class, such as a police officer, healthcare provider, social services worker, mentally/physically disabled or elderly person
- Intentional tripping
- Shoving or pushing
- Hitting or punching
- Bar fights
- Sexual assault and rape
- Domestic violence
PUNISHMENT AND PENALTIES
Simple Assault: Misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in a county jail and/or a maximum 1,000 fine, probation, restitution to the victim(s)
Battery: Either a misdemeanor up to six months in county jail, and/or maximum fine $2,000, probation or felony (depending on the nature of the alleged offense) punishable by up to three years in county jail or state prison, a fine of $2,000 up to $10,000, or both, probation. Also called a “wobbler” Restitution to the victim
Assault is normally a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in county jail. Battery may also be a misdemeanor carrying a $2,000 fine and 6 months jail time, but if serious injury or death was inflicted against a police officer or medical worker; it could be a felony with much more severe sentencing.
COMMON DEFENSES USED AGAINST ASSAULT AND BATTERY INCLUDE
- Self defense from others, if "excessive force" was not used
- The act was not "willfully," meaning it was an accident
- Reasonable disciplinary rights of parents
- False accusation or misidentification
- Consent to the act or activity
- Defense of another person
- Defense of a home or personal property
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