While legally considered separate acts, the crimes of assault and battery are often charged together due to the complimentary nature. If you have recently been charged with these crimes, understanding the difference between the crime of assault and the crime of battery will be the first step in determining what defense strategy to employ in you case. Below you will learn more about the legal components of each crime and what defense strategies may be available to help you fight these charges.
What Is Assault?
Many people believe that an assault is the act of committing bodily harm. However, the truth is, assault is nothing more than causing an individual to believe you intend to harm them. For instance, if you were to wave a baseball bat around and threaten to hit someone with it, you have committed assault even if you never actually hit the person.
In order to convict you of assault, the prosecutor will need to prove two main elements.
- You caused the victim in the case to believe that harm would be done to them.
- You intended to make the victim feel this way.
Defenses To Assault
There are several strategies that you can use to defend yourself against these charges. For instance, you can choose to assert that no assault occurred or that you were in a different location at the time the assault occurred and therefore could not have committed this crime.
If you admit that the assault occurred and that you are guilty of committing this assault, you can still defend yourself against criminal liability. This can be done by asserting that the assault was committed in self defense or that you lacked the mental clarity to form the necessary intent to be convicted of this crime.
What Is Battery?
Battery occurs when the threat of violence is carried out. In simple terms, battery is an assault that is acted upon.
In order to convict you of battery, the prosecution in your case will need to prove three separate elements.
- You made unwanted physical contact with the victim in your case.
- This physical contact resulted in injury.
- You intended to cause injury to the victim.
Defenses To Battery
In order to successfully defend yourself against battery charges, you will need to attack one of the three elements that make up this crime. For instance, you can assert that the victim in your case provided consent to the activities which resulted in their injuries. This type of defense is most commonly used when the injuries in question resulted from a sporting event.
In addition to challenging these key elements, you can choose to assert that the battery was necessary or justified. For instance, if the victim in your case threatened you with bodily harm, you could argue that the battery occurred only as a means of protecting yourself from this imminent harm.
A Final Thought
Being convicted of assault and battery charges can result in some very significant consequences, including many years in jail. Consequently, it is important to take your defense against these charges seriously. The best way to do this is by immediately contacting a qualified criminal attorney in your area to discuss the facts of your case and what defense strategies are supported by these facts. For more information, contact a local law office like Kalamarides & Lambert.