Crime Overview Assault And Battery

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In the United States, assault is commonly known as a crime against another person using, or threatening the use of, violence. Battery is typically referred to as a crime when unlawful contact is made by another person. In most states, there is no differentiation between the two. Sentencing for this crime varies on the severity.

Assault and battery differ among the various jurisdictions in the United States. Generally, assault and battery occur either when a person physically strikes another person, or one person acts in a threatening manner towards another person.

Assault involves:
1)An intentional, unlawful threat to cause harm to someone else by force;
2)Creating circumstances that cause fear for another individual;
3)Ability to carry out the act if it is not prevented.

Battery is the intentional touching with their own body, or with an object, of another individual against their will. Offensive touching can constitute battery even if it does not cause injury.

Some states determine that assault is a threat, while battery is the unlawful contact. Many states no longer differentiate between the two and may consider more serious forms aggravated assault and battery. Assault may be considered aggravated assault and battery may be considered aggravated battery, and therefore taken as a more serious case.

There are many situations where assault and battery may be considered simple. Simple assault and battery may result in a minor sentence. These sentences may include a fine, probation, or mandatory attendance in an anger management course. However, if a person has a criminal record or a long history of violence, he or she may have their sentence increased, and may even face prison time lasting up to a year in some cases.

Simple assault and battery may be upgraded to aggravated assault and battery for a number of reasons, for example, if the victim sustains severe bodily harm as a result of the assault and/or battery. If the suspect uses a weapon, it will not be considered simple assault and battery. Often times, hate crimes are considered a higher level or classification of assault and battery. Assault and battery against a police officer are often considered aggravated assault and battery.
In order to be acquitted of battery or assault, a person must show privilege. Some examples of privilege are consent, police conduct, self-defense, defense of others, voluntary (mutual) combat, defense of property, discipline, or merchant's privilege.

Words alone, regardless of how insulting or provocative they are, does not justify battery or assault.

If you have been accused of assault and battery, you should hire an attorney. He or she should be very experienced in similar cases and have a great deal of knowledge concerning assault and battery. The laws regarding assault and battery vary greatly from state to state. An attorney will be very helpful in determining what aspects of the law relate to your specific crime.

Less severe cases of assault and battery may not require the help of an attorney, but it is very important to let the attorney decide, as each case varies and you may be unaware of the severity of your charges, based on the laws.