We have heard the phrase ‘Assault' and ‘Battery' several times in our day to day life. The terms are two different legal concepts with discrete elements. Some states split them up while others and combine the offences.
In some states, an assault/battery is said to be committed when one person:
- tries to or does physically strike another, or
- acts in a threatening manner to put another in fear of immediate harm.
Assaults and Batteries can also be pursued with the civil lawsuits (with opposition to criminal prosecution). In short, an assault is a threat or attempt to injure the other individual, while the battery is the act which makes contact with another person in a harmful or offensive manner. Generally, assault and battery is the combination of two violent crimes, assault – the threat of violence and battery – physical abuse.
The distinction between Assault and Battery:
The main contrast between the two offences is the existence or nonexistence of touching to the other person. Whereas contact is a primary element of battery, there must be a lack of contact for assault. Sometimes assault is defined to include a battery.
Assault and Battery are offences in both criminal and tort law. Therefore they give rise to both civil and criminal liability. The contact is not specified for an offence of assault; a conviction for an assault requires a criminal act. The types of law that fall into the category of assault can vary extensively, but typically an assault requires a direct action that would put the reasonable person in fear for their safety. Spoken words alone will not be enough for an act to create an assault unless the offender lines them up with an act or actions that put the victim in fear of imminent harm.
In order to commit an assault, an individual need only have "general intent. It means that even if an individual can't accidentally assault another person, it is enough to show that an offender intended the movements which resulted in an assault. That means if an individual acts in a way that deems dangerous to another person, then it is an assault. Even if the person didn't intend particular harm to an individual, moreover, not designed to scare or frighten another person can be enough to establish assault charges, as well.
Jurisdiction of Assault and Battery:
In certain jurisdictions, assault and battery both are paired together as one offence. The reason for pairing assault and battery is when an individual commits battery he/she usually has the intent to harm, or threaten the person before doing the act. There will also be various degrees of assault which includes first degree, second degree, and third degree. Each degree describes how serious the crime is or maybe.
In other state jurisdictions, assault is defined in extended terms as any intentional physical contact takes place with an individual without his/her consent. While in other states, the definition of assault includes the description of a battery of other State. The degree of assault defines the range of punishment to be administered for the crime.