Assault and Battery Defense Lawyers

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What Is Assault?

Assault is the act of intentionally creating a reasonable apprehension of harm towards another person. For example, if Bob waves a knife at you and yells “I’m going to kill you!” this would be considered assault even if Bob never touches you.

What Is Battery?

Battery is the act of intentionally touching or applying force to another person such that the person suffers harm or offense. Using the prior example, Bob would be liable for battery if he actually stabbed you.

Can a Person Be Charged With Assault, But Not Battery or Vice Versa?

While assault and battery are often treated as a single act, the two can be mutually exclusive. In other words, one can assault a person without committing a battery. Likewise, a person can commit a battery without assaulting that person. For example, if Bob stabs you from behind without you witnessing the attack, then Bob is committing a battery without an assault.

If I am Convicted of Assault and/or Battery, What Kind of Punishment Will I Be Facing?

The answer will vary from court to court and from case to case, depending upon the facts of the case. The punishment may also differ depending upon the court system. If the claim is raised in the civil law system, the offender will only face demands for monetary compensation. If the claim is brought in criminal law though, jail time can be expected. Note that the offender can be brought to both systems of law, so jail time and monetary payment can be expected if the offender is doubly charged.

What are Possible Defenses against an Accusation of Assault and Battery?

Duress and self-defense are common defenses in assault and battery cases. There are also a host of other possible defenses: 

What Defenses Will Not Succeed?

Drugs or alcohol are often involved in assault and battery cases. Drunken bar fighting is a prime example. If you voluntarily take drugs or drink alcohol, you cannot then blame your behavior on the substances. Saying "I was too smashed to realize what I did" will not be a valid defense. If you drink or take drugs voluntarily, you should realize the risks of doing so.

Will Any of These Defenses Work?

The best way to determine this is to consult an experienced attorney. An experienced lawyer will be able to analyze your situation and determine the best defense to pursue.

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Last Modified: 12-23-2013 12:29 PM PST

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