Assault and battery are different but related crimes that often occur at the same time and are typically prosecuted together. Assault and battery are actually two separate crimes and can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on the nature and seriousness of the injuries to the alleged victim.
Assault involves the act of threatening to injure someone, whereas battery refers to the actual act of violence. Both assault and battery are taken very seriously in a court of law and carry harsh penalties including jail time.
Assault is the threat of violence on another person, even if that person is not touched. Battery is any offensive touching of another person with the intent to cause harm. Unwanted touching, even if it does not result in pain to the other person, may still legally qualify as a battery. An experienced attorney can provide you with the necessary defense to charges of assault and battery in the criminal courts.
Possible defenses may include:
- Consent – The alleged victim consented to the harm. Examples include sporting events, exercise activities, etc.
- Punishment – Official sanctioned use of physical disciple. For example, some jurisdictions allow teachers to use limited physical force to discipline students.
- Prevention of a crime – Under certain circumstances, the use of violence or force is permitted to prevent a crime.
- Self defense, defense of property, or defense of others – Force may legally be used to prevent physical harm to oneself, someone else, or to prevent the harm or theft of an individual’s property.
- Mutual, voluntary combat – In some jurisdictions, a person cannot be charged with assault and battery if the parties involved mutually agreed to fight and neither used excessive or unreasonable physical force.
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