Assault and battery are often charged together, leading people to mistakenly believe that “assault and battery” is one single crime. Basically, battery is separate from assault, even though it is usually charged with assault. However, assault can be a charge on its own. If you were arrested for assault and battery or just assault, it’s crucial to speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.


Assault Defined


Contrary to popular belief, assault does not involve the physical act of harming someone. Assault is merely the threat of physical harm However, this threat must be significant enough for it to be considered reasonable that the victim would fear for their safety and even their life.


Battery Defined


Battery, on the other hand, is the act of physically harming someone. Assault and battery are often charged together because threats to harm someone often precede the actual act. However, it is possible to be charged with battery alone, just like it’s possible to be charged with assault alone.


Unlawful vs. Lawful Violence


Under the law, not all violence is considered illegal or unlawful. Sometimes, violence may be used legally. For example, the battery you are accused of may have been lawful if:


  • You engaged in self-defense
  • You engaged in the defense of another person
  • You were a police officer attempting to make a lawful arrest
  • You received actual or implied consent from the victim
  • You engaged in violence to stop a crime from happening or to stop an in-progress crime


How to Defend Against Assault and Battery


Often, the best way to defend yourself against a particular crime is to deconstruct what the prosecution has to prove in order for you to be convicted. For example, you may be able to show that:


  • No violence or threats actually occurred
  • The violence was not intentional nor was it reckless


Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz & Krysinski Today


Don’t let assault and/or battery charges leave you facing life changing criminal penalties. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and learn how best to protect your rights under the law.