When you first hear about assault and battery charges, you may think that these offenses are the same thing. There is a difference between them, though. At Mayer Law Office, LLC, we know it is important to understand these differences.
According to FindLaw, assault and battery are acts taken against another person. The difference lies in whether or not you have physical contact with the other person. If you are charged with battery, this means you touched someone else without their permission in an offensive or harmful way. An assault charge, on the other hand, means that you threatened or tried to harm someone but did not actually make physical contact.
Both of these charges take your intent into account. You can be charged with assault if you planned to either scare or harm someone. Sometimes you do not need to intend to harm a specific person if you are intentionally behaving in a way that can bring harm to people. A battery charge requires that you planned to contact a specific person and a possible intent to harm someone is usually not considered. Additionally, your actions determine whether you are charged with assault or battery. A battery charge means that you have kicked or punched someone, and in some cases spitting on someone may warrant a battery charge, as physical injury is not a requirement. The actions involved in an assault charge usually need to make people fear for their safety. You may be charged with assault if you verbally threaten someone and then behave in a way which makes the person afraid.
Being charged with assault or battery can have long-term consequences. You may find that you face either jail time or a fine. More information about this subject can be found on our webpage.