Assault and Battery

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What’s the difference?

You may often hear the terms “assault” and “battery” used interchangeably. However, they are completely different offenses. An assault occurs when a victim is intentionally placed in fear of an imminent attack. A battery occurs when a victim is intentionally touched without consent. For example, if a person throws a punch at the victim but they move to avoid it (or the person just missed) that is an assault. If a person lands that punch, that is a battery. There is no requirement that there be any injury at all, so often just shoving or grabbing someone is enough for a battery charge.

How serious is it?

The level of the offense can vary from a simple misdemeanor to a major felony depending on:  

  • The age of the victim: Battery on the Elderly or Child Abuse   
  • The profession of the victim: Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter
  • The victim’s pregnancy status
  • Your relationship to the victim: Domestic Violence
  • The location of the incident: Inside a house (Burglary of a Dwelling with an Assault or Battery) or vehicle (Burglary of a Conveyance with an Assault or Battery)
  • The severity of injuries: Serious bodily injury, permanent injury, attempted strangulation
  • If a weapon was used:  Including a car, knife, weapon, or another object
  • If a firearm was used
  • Whether you have a prior conviction for battery

Common Defenses:

If you’re facing assault or battery charges, contact Blaine today to discuss your case.