Find An Assault and Battery Attorney
In criminal law, assault and battery combined make up a single offense since an assault (non-physical act) usually happens before a battery (physical act). If a person is charged with a battery crime, they will often be sued by the other person in a civil action for the same incident. If you have been charged with assault and battery, assault and battery attorneys are here to help you with your legal rights.
What does Assault and Battery mean?
A criminal assault means a purposeful, unlawful threat to cause bodily injury or intent to perform an offensive act. When an assault happens, the situation must create the fear of being provoked, hurt or injured and give the appearance that if not prevented, the assault looks like it will take place.
For an assault to happen, there does not have to be physical contact with the other person. A person may also be physically unable to hurt another, but gives the appearance that some sort of provocation or harm will happen and intention is with a “guilty mind”.
Regardless of how offensive the words are, it is not enough to justify an assault or battery charge against the person who merely says the words.
As with an assault crime, a battery crime should be a purposeful act committed with a “guilty mind” and occurs if the physical contact has not been consented to.
Physical contact does not have to injure the other person but must be with intent of provoking in some way. This includes:
- A slap in the face or a fist fight
- Being poked by a person
- In some states, elements of sexual crimes can have sexual battery
Another example of battery would be if someone intentionally hit or touched something that is directly connected to the other person. An example of this type of battery would be:
- If a person is sitting in a vehicle and another person approaches and intentionally hits the vehicle.
- If a person is holding a stack of books and another person comes up and hits the books intentionally to knock them on the floor.
Other non-physical types of battery include:
- If a person knowingly poisoned another person
- If a person knowingly transmits a disease like STD or AIDS to another person
Battery is a very serious charge and it is recommended to contact a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged.
What is the difference between a criminal and a civil charge?
Criminal Assault and Battery - Criminal Court
In this type of charge, the person at fault is prosecuted by the district attorney's office for assault and battery against another person.
Civil Assault and Battery - Civil Court
In this type of charge, the person who sustained the injury sues the person who committed the crime against them to recover loses. With this type of case, a personal injury lawyer is needed.
There are certain instances where someone will have the “privilege” to commit assault or battery against another. In these instances, assault and battery charges will not apply and an attorney may not be needed.
These instances include:
- Police encounters – only if injuries were sustained during a lawful arrest
- Discipline – ex. parent may be disciplining a child or mental health staff with a patient
- Self-defense – must be a reasonable amount, cannot shoot someone for being spit on
- Voluntary mutual fighting or comba
- Merchant’s privilege – ex. trying to detain a shop lifter
- Consent – where a person consents beforehand as in a medical procedure or sports
- Defense of property
- Defense of others
There are several factors that a criminal attorney will look over to determine the possible outcome of your case, including:
- If a weapon was used, what type, etc.
- The biases and views of the people involved in the case
- If there were any prior crimes on record
- The circumstances that lead to the assault and battery
- The amount of assault and battery
Criminal defense attorneys specializing in assault and battery
charges can handle several types of criminal defense cases including:
- Domestic Violence, Domestic Battery
- Violent Crimes
- Sexual Offenses and Sex Crimes
- Federal Crimes
- Murder Crimes
- Improper Exhibition of a Weapon
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Economic, Theft and Property Crimes
- Concealed Weapon
- Sentencing and Appeals