The words “assault” and “battery” are very often used interchangeably, especially in the context of television crime dramas and movies. But, in real life, assault and battery are two different crimes, and each offense can even carry different punishments. So, what is the difference between assault and battery?
Assault is the unlawful attempt of physical force on another person, or the intentional placement of another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm. In plain English, assault happens when someone tries to harm another person, or acts in a way that causes a victim to fear being harmed.
Battery, on the other hand, involves some form of physical contact with the victim. Battery is any willful or unlawful force used against another person.
Though assault and battery are very similar, an easy way to remember the difference is to remember that assault is threatening to harm someone, while battery involves actually harming them.
Assault and battery can both come with a wide range of possible punishments. There are several factors that can impact the severity of your punishment. For example, if the police believe that your assault or battery was part of an intent to commit another crime, you could face increased penalties. Even minor incidents that are charged as misdemeanors can result in jail time and fines.
An assault case that is charged as a misdemeanor can result in up to 1 year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines, whereas an assault case charged as a felony can result in penalties as high as 6 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
For battery cases, the penalties can be even higher. Misdemeanor battery can result in up to 1 year in jail plus $2,000 in fines, while felony battery can result in penalties as high as 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Assault and Battery Of A Deadly Weapon
In addition to “assault” and “battery,” some individuals find themselves facing charges of “assault with a deadly weapon.” When people hear “deadly weapon,” most people immediately think of a gun. However, almost any object or tool can be considered a deadly weapon if used in a manner intended to harm someone. Examples might include everyday tools such as a hammer or screwdriver.
If you are facing charges that involve the alleged use of a deadly weapon, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical. In cases involving deadly weapons, you do not necessarily have to have used a weapon for your charges to be increased to include a weapon enhancement. If the prosecutor in your case is able to convince the court that you had immediate access to, or that you were near an object that might be considered a deadly weapon, your charges may include a deadly weapon enhancement, and your possible penalties could be much more severe.
If you have been charged with assault, battery, or any weapon related offense, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The attorneys at The Wright Law Group, P.C. have decades of combined experience in handling both misdemeanor and felony level assault and battery cases. The Wright Law Group, P.C. is also approved defense counsel for members of the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). We have helped many clients with assault, battery, and weapons charges, and we can help you too. Don’t wait. Call us now at (702) 405-0001. We are available 24/7. Our consultations are always free and confidential.