Criminal battery is the intentional unlawful touching of another person. Intentional use of violence or force against another person is often associated with criminal battery charges. Even the slightest touch could be considered battery if it was done with the intent to harm, annoy, injure, or offend someone else.
A battery is generally punished as a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanors are usually punishable by up to one year of jail time.
What are the Elements of Criminal Battery?
To prove that a criminal battery has occurred, the following must be proved:
- The defendant engaged in a voluntary physical act;
- The voluntary physical act involved the application of force to another person;
- The force resulted in contact that was either harmful or offensive to the victim
What are Common Examples of Criminal Battery?
Common examples of criminal battery may include:
- Grabbing someone’s arm
- Punching a person
- Pushing another person
- Striking or threatening to strike another person with a dangerous object or weapon
When is Battery a Felony?
A criminal battery is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor offense carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. Fines or community service may also be ordered.
However, a criminal battery may be considered aggravated battery and punished as a felony. A felony is punishable by over a year in prison.
A criminal battery may be considered a felony if you:
- Shoot a person with a gun or threaten to kill someone while pointing a gun at them
- Use a dangerous weapon, such as a knife, baseball bat, or hammer, in the course of committing a battery
- Assault or batter someone with the intent to commit another felony crime, such as rape or robbery
- Assault or batter someone and it results in a serious physical injury
- Threaten someone with violence while using a false identity
- Assault or batter a member of a protected class, such as a police officer, healthcare worker, social services worker, a developmentally disabled person, a pregnant woman, an elderly person, or a child.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Battery?
Depending on the state law, a criminal battery conviction may result in up to one year of jail time and a fine. A criminal conviction for battery will go on your criminal record. From that point on, a background check will show that you were found guilty of criminal battery. A criminal defense lawyer can give you legal advice about plea negotiations and other ways to keep your criminal record clear.
How is Battery Different from Assault?
Assault and battery are often lumped together, but in some states, they may be separate criminal offenses.
The difference between assault and battery is that assault does not have to involve touching or physical contact. However, a person can be charged with both assault and battery, depending on the circumstances of the incident and the state’s laws.
Assault generally refers to threatening acts that cause another person to feel afraid of upcoming violence. Under this definition, physical attacks are enough to be considered an assault, but verbal threats may or may not be.
Some action, such as raising a fist or moving angrily toward a victim, is usually required to be considered assault. Threatening to hurt someone while moving toward them with a clenched, raised fist could constitute an assault.
What are the Legal Defenses to Criminal Battery?
The crime of battery requires an intentional act. Anyone accused of criminal battery has several potential legal defense options available to them. In some cases, people may be victims of false accusations by former romantic partners.
The following are some of the legal defenses to criminal battery:
- Self-defense or defense of another person is typically an affirmative defense to an assault or battery charge. If you reasonably believed that you were in immediate danger of harm, and you used only the amount of force that was necessary to defend yourself or another person, you may have a valid claim for self-defense.
Even if you were mistaken, the defense of another person may be a valid affirmative defense. For example, if you saw someone on the street getting beat up and you punched the mugger, but it turned out they were just filming a skit, you may still have a valid defense claim if you reasonably believed that someone else was in danger.
- The defendant was intoxicated and therefore didn’t intend to commit the criminal battery.
- The defendant was under duress. When another person forces someone to act under duress, the intent to commit the act can be erased.
Need to Speak to an Experienced Criminal Battery Attorney Today?
Talking to a criminal defense attorney is the best way to determine a defense strategy for your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can identify weaknesses in the case against you, argue for reduced charges, and challenge the evidence against you in court.
The Statute of Limitations on Criminal Battery Cases
A statute of limitations refers to the specific amount of time after a criminal battery takes place in which a lawsuit must be filed. If you have been the victim of a criminal battery, and you don’t file a lawsuit within the time period specified by your state’s laws, you will not be able to pursue a lawsuit.
Each state’s laws are different. Consider hiring a criminal lawyer or criminal defense lawyer to make sure your interests are protected.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Assist Me With a Criminal Battery Lawsuit?
If you’ve been involved in a criminal battery, you may want to hire a criminal defense lawyer in your area to help you with a lawsuit. An attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation. An attorney will also be able to answer any questions you may have about your specific case.
Where Can I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Assault and battery charges are very serious. A conviction for one of these crimes can massively impact your life. You could face a lengthy prison sentence and the stigma of being a felon.
Convicted felons are not allowed to vote or possess a firearm. Felons often have trouble finding employment.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight an assault or battery charge and help you achieve the best possible outcome. Consider hiring a criminal defense attorney in your area if you need help with a lawsuit. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice, representation, and guidance for your case. LegalMatch’s criminal defense database is a great resource for finding an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your state or city.
The area of criminal defense law is vast and deals with a variety of cases in which people were accused of various crimes. Fortunately, our database of criminal defense lawyers is just as broad and is composed of excellent attorneys. If you’re interested in finding a criminal defense attorney in your area, use the link here. LegalMatch’s services can help you narrow down your search for a lawyer by choosing the issues involved in your case. There is no fee to present your case, the lawyers presented will be from your area, and our service is 100% confidential.