Assault and Battery
Under most state laws, assault and battery is when a person tries to or does physically strike another person. It also includes acts in a threatening manner, putting another person in fear of immediate harm. A more serious charge of “aggravated” assault and battery may be applied if a person tries to or does cause severe injury to another person or uses a deadly weapon to cause injury.
If you are facing charges of assault, battery or both, connect with a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Simply fill out the free online evaluation form on this page or call 877-445-1059 today to arrange your no-obligation consultation.
Assault & Battery Defined
Assault is defined as an act that creates a threat of immediate, actionable harm. Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of another. In certain jurisdictions, assault and battery may be charged separately or singularly.
In the past, a distinction between assault and battery was generally made depending on whether physical contact occurred. This distinction is usually no longer applicable.
Assault and battery can be charged as criminal or civil offenses.
Assault & Battery Defenses
There are many circumstances under which assault and battery charges can be defended. These include:
- Self defense: In most circumstances, a person has the right to defend himself from an unwarranted attack. However, there are exceptions ‒ if the attack was provoked, or if the defendant uses far greater force than the attacker, self-defense may be nullified.
- Defense of others: A person may come to the defense of another who is under duress. Generally speaking, the same rules of self-defense apply in defense of others.
- Defense of property: In some states, the person has the right to protect his home from intrusion and threat. For more information on the Defense of Property argument, see the Castle Doctrine.
- Performance of duty or authority: Certain professions allow for some degree of force to be used without qualifying as battery. For example, bouncers at restaurants and night clubs may forcefully eject unruly customers.
Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for assault and battery, speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case and possible defenses. Total Criminal Defense can help you find a local lawyer to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Call at 877-445-1059 or fill out our free online evaluation form to get in touch with a lawyer near you.
The above summary of assault and battery is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on assault and battery charges, speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area.