The Difference Between Assault and Battery

Personal Injury Lawyer

Many times, when people hear about “assault and battery” these terms are generally discussed at the same time; and, as such, many people think that these offenses are one in the same. But that is incorrect. Assault and battery are two separate offenses, with different consequence and sentencing.

Victims of assault or battery often know that they were attacked or threatened, but do not know whether the intentional tort that was committed against them was an assault or a battery. If you have been the victim of an intentional tort, such as an assault and/or battery, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to get you the compensation that you deserve for the harm you have suffered at the hands of another.

Assault, under most state laws, happens when someone does or says something that places another in reasonable apprehension of harm (i.e., of receiving an immediate battery). This means that threatening someone is an assault, but words alone cannot be an assault. The threatening words must be coupled with threatening or aggressive actions. Battery involves insulting or provoking bodily harm to another that is done knowingly or intentionally. A mere touching can be enough to commit a battery if the touching is done in a threatening way. Similarly, vicarious touching can also be a battery, such as if a person throws a stick at the victim – the attacker does not actually touch the victim, but the stick does.

Both crimes require knowledge, or intent, i.e., the intent to cause harm. It is also possible for someone to commit both an assault and a battery against a victim in the same altercation or incident.

Aggravating Factors

Either assault or battery can be considered “aggravated,” meaning that there was some additional factor during the commission of the intentional tort that warrants harsher punishment and a harsher sentence. Aggravated assault involves the use of a weapon during the assault or committing the assault against a person of a certain class, such as a teacher, an elderly person, a peace officer, or a correctional officer. Aggravated battery involves causing great bodily harm or disfigurement to a victim while committing a battery or causing severe or permanent disability of the victim.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorneys for Help with Your Case

No one should have to suffer in silence as the victim of an assault or a battery. If you have been the victim of an intentional tort, you may be eligible to obtain damages from those who harmed you through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN to find out what your legal options may be. Even if there are criminal charges pending against the party who assaulted you, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the losses your injuries have caused you to suffer. Call a law office today for a confidential consultation.



Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and the difference between assault and battery.