In most states, assault and battery are two separate charges that are almost always charged at the same time. If you have been charged with assault, battery, or both, you will need to know the difference between these charges and how they will affect your future.
While some criminal charges may appear as non-threatening to your life and to your future, the criminal charges of assault and battery are dangerous and can negatively affect your entire life. One reason in particular that makes these charges so daunting is that they are usually both charged upon a person at the same time. When a person faces charges for battery, they are almost always going to be charged with assault as well. Adversely, a person facing assault charges may not necessarily have battery charges coming their way. In spite of being some of the most confusing criminal charges, assault and battery are two separate charges that a person should try to avoid and defend against aggressively if they have already been charged.
What is assault? In most cases, assault is the lesser of the two criminal charges. Assault is a charge that is filed against a defendant when they have been accused of threatening to commit a crime of violence upon another with the ability to follow through with the threat. Whether the person actually followed through with the act of violence or just threatened to do so, they can face serious misdemeanor or felony charges. In cases of aggravated assault, or an assault case in which a deadly weapon is used to threaten, a person may face felony charges with long term punishments and hefty fines.
Battery, the other part of the criminal charge that is filed only in specific cases, is the offense of following through with the act of violence. Any type of unsolicited or unwanted touching, groping or injuring of another person constitutes battery. Battery is a much more serious criminal charge in most states in the fact that it constitutes actually inflicting harm or violence onto another person. It can be in the form of physical or sexual abuse, and may not even be forceful enough to leave a mark. No matter what the circumstances are regarding the situation, inflicting harm onto another person will result in criminal charges and possibly a civil case against the defendant.
If you are facing criminal battery or assault charges, it is in your best interest to involve an attorney right away. Oftentimes, the evidence in these cases comes down to the “victim’s” accounts of the incident and nothing else. It will be up to your defense lawyer to devise an aggressive strategy to defend against your criminal charges and your rights. You will need to protect yourself in the event that the case comes down to a “he said, she said” argument, with the jury possibly sympathizing with the victim. It is your responsibility to ensure that your attorney is capable of revealing the true evidence in the case and securing your future. Do not wait to call an attorney for your case or to learn more about the difference between assault and battery charges.