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What are the differences between assault and battery?

When it comes to defending against criminal charges, it can make a considerable difference in your case to actually understand the allegations brought against you. Certainly, any legal professional you bring in to assist you in your case will know the exact terminology, but it may help you feel more at ease if you also understand. Therefore, you may find it helpful to both your case and your peace of mind to gain information relating to the allegations.

For instance, if you have been charged with a violent crime, you may face charges for assault, battery, or assault and battery. At first you may think that these charges are the same, but they are, in fact, different. There could also be aggravated circumstances associated with your situation that could lead to more serious charges.

Differences between assault and battery

Many people may think of an assault as when someone physically attacks and hits another person. However, that is not the true definition of the crime. In order for an assault to take place, someone simply has to attempt to injure another person, typically through violence or force, but contact is not a necessary aspect to the crime. This means that charges for assault could apply to a situation where one person intentionally acted in a manner that put another person in fear for his or her safety.

On the other hand, when it comes to battery, physical contact is necessary for an act to fall into this category. The contact has offensive or harmful intent behind it and occurs without the consent of the individual on the receiving end of the contact. The contact also does not necessarily have to result in an injury, but the contact must have been intentionally offensive, such as spitting on another person.

Defending against charges

Once you understand the differences between assault and battery and the charges you face, you may feel ready to discuss and assess your case further. The more information you have, the better chance you may have of working toward an outcome you find agreeable. Therefore, you may also want to explore your criminal defense options.

Because the defensive route you choose to take will depend on the exact circumstances of your case, you may wish to consult with a legal professional who could help you understand your options and guide you through the legal proceedings.

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McHenry Haszard Law
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