Differences between assault and battery

Sometimes, a Massachusetts resident may find themselves charged with a crime that they do not even understand. This can be a scary and lonely experience, one that can weigh heavy on the minds of the accused. Before moving forward, it can first be helpful to understand what exactly a person is being charged with, and what this charge entails. Criminal defense attorneys can help an accused person understand their options and help them mount an effective defense.

One distinction between crimes that may be a source of confusion for some is the difference between assault and battery. Assault is usually defined as an act that it committed with an attempt to cause injury to another person. Sometimes, this can include threatening behavior directed at another person. Assault is sometimes defined as attempted battery. The main difference between assault and battery is that an assault can occur with no physical contact.

Battery, on the other hand, requires physical contact with an individual that is offensive, intentional and nonconsensual. That being said, when it comes to intent, it need not be harmful intent in order to constitute battery. A person needs to only have the intent to cause contact with an individual in order for battery to occur. This can include anything from physical attacks, such as punches or kicks, to lesser, more minimal forms of contact.

Criminal charges can bring with them a plethora of penalties and consequences. For many, avoiding these penalties and consequences is of the utmost importance. Attorneys are available to help those charged with such crimes do everything within their power to defend against such charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Assault and Battery Overview," Accessed on April 10, 2017

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