Fist of anger man and crying woman sitting. Domestic violenceDid you physically strike another person in an argument? Did you place somebody in harm’s way by threatening them and making them fear for their life? Each year, these cases lead to assault and battery charges, which are taken very seriously in the court’s eyes. To have a more serious charge, somebody has to cause physical injury through the use of a deadly weapon, or cause severe injury to another by other means. Assault usually refers to a threat to injure someone, while battery is contacting another person in a harmful manner.

Assault Explained

Did you or someone you know attempt to harm someone, either through threats or actions? There are requirements that must be met to prove assault in a case. For instance, somebody must have been in fear for his or her safety. This means that an “act” must have occurred to bring this fear for safety to light. Just by speaking words to somebody, this will not constitute assault. If somebody is going to assault another person, they must show actions that prove this behavior. If an individual is acting in a dangerous way and intended harm to an individual, then assault will usually be proven.

Battery Explained 

Battery is a bit different from assault, even though they go hand in hand. For a defendant to be charged with this crime, they must have acted in an offensive and harmful manner and physically touched a plaintiff without their consent. There must be intent in these cases as well. For instance, let’s say that somebody accidentally bumps into another person. The victim of this incident may consider it battery; however, if it was an accident, it was not an intentional act. Therefore, this would not hold up in court. In another case, such as a physical attack on a person, this could go to trial. Assault and battery will usually be combined into one offense because the two are closely related.

Defenses

As with any crime, there are some defenses that you may be able to use in an assault and battery case. For example, consider the following:

Self-Defense: This is one of the most common defenses that will be seen in many of these cases. However, the accused must be able to show a threat against them, a perceived fear of harm, no harm on their own part, and no reasonable chance of escaping the situation. What happens if a stranger follows you into an alleyway, making threats and screaming at you? Being terrified, you may strike the stranger and run to get away from them. This would be a proper self-defense case. However, you must be acting reasonably and use the scope of force that is expected for the particular situation. 

Defense of Property: If your property is being threatened, you may also have a defense in an assault and battery case. You are permitted to use reasonable force when it comes to defending your property. If somebody broke into your house and is trying to make off with items, you may be able to use force to stop them – if it is seen as reasonable.

Consent: In some cases, if somebody gave consent to the act against them, then the charges may be dropped. However, this must also be within reason.

Have you been charged with assault or battery and you don’t know where to turn? Luckily we can help you in regards to your case. We will be there for you every step of the way to answer all of your important questions. Call us today for more.