Assault & Battery 101: Definitions, Consequences, and Defenses

Assault & Battery 101: Definitions, Consequences, and Defenses

Assault & Battery 101: Definitions, Consequences, and Defenses Many people who don’t work in the legal profession believe that assault and battery is a single offense. In reality, there are two separate crimes. In short, assault refers to an attempt to injure someone, while battery is the actual use of force or violence against someone. The main difference is that a charge of assault doesn’t require physical contact while battery does.

An example of an assault charge

Consider this example. A man is very angry while driving and a women cuts him off on the freeway. He’s so mad that he decides he’s going to ram his car into hers. He speeds up, swerves closer, and acts as though he’s going to hit her. The woman sees what he’s doing and swerves out of the way. Even though that man’s car didn’t actually collide with hers, he can still be charged with assault because he attempted to hit the woman’s carry.

An example of a battery charge

Let’s continue with the example above. If the man had actually hit the woman’s car, then he could be charged with assault and battery. That said, assault is a lesser charge compared to battery, and he’s only able to be convicted of one charge or the other. In some cases, the prosecutor may start out charging battery and we may be able to argue them down to assault – the lesser charge.

Possible consequences of a battery conviction

A person who is convicted of battery could be facing significant consequences, including spending some time in jail. The maximum sentence is a fine of no more than $2,000, up to 6 months in county jail, and / or anger management classes. Remember that a judge can sentence a person to more than one of these options. It’s also important to keep in mind that a prosecutor may add additional charges, which is why it’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney with a wealth of experience.

Defense options

The best legal defense for your case will depend on a number of factors, including your previous criminal record, the evidence against you, and how the prosecutor has chosen to charge you. Your best bet is to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell for your free case evaluation. We can help with a number of possible defense including:

  • Showing that you weren’t capable of actually inflicting harm, force, or violence on the person.
  • Proving that you were action in self-defense.
  • Proving that you were defending someone else who was in danger.
  • We can show that you didn’t act willfully. In otherwise, you didn’t have the intent that the law requires.
  • You were accused wrongfully.

In some cases, we may try to get the prosecutor to drop the charges. In other situations, if the evidence is against you, then we may work to get a plea deal with lesser charges. If necessary, Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell will take your case to court. Call us today at 909-920-0908 to learn more.