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What is Assault and Battery?

What is Assault and Battery?

Assault and Battery… Explained

Assault and battery can be charged together or separately. There are different elements that need to be proved and they may be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on whether a dangerous weapon or firearm was used, the severity of any physical force, and if serious injury or death occurred.

In any event, an assault and battery attorney should be consulted if you are charged as such, regardless if it is a felony or a misdemeanor.


There are different degrees and types of assault. For any assault offense, though, there is no requirement or element of physical contact with anyone; only that you had the intent and the present ability to cause an injury.

Simple Assault

This offense is a misdemeanor since it implies that no serious injuries were inflicted and no weapons’ were used. The only requirements are that you attempted to hurt someone, or might have caused some minor injury, and that you knew your conduct would have resulted in applying force. For example, if you swing and miss someone that is an assault since you knew your actions would have resulted in an injury.

Similarly, if you threaten someone with physical violence and the person is in reasonable fear that it could occur, you can be convicted of assault.

In a number of states, a simple assault can be elevated to a felony if it was directed towards a healthcare or public worker, like a police officer or firefighter, who are acting in this capacity. These may also include jurors, correctional officers, or paramedics.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is also referred to as rape, which is generally any sexual penetration without consent. It can also refer to any other coerced sexual activity such as groping or fondling. A lack of consent need not be verbally expressed but may be inferred by the victim’s actions. A minor cannot give consent to sexual activity with an adult.

A sexual assault can also occur if the victim is unconscious. It is any unwanted touching or contact in a sexual way without consent.

In most cases, a sexual assault is a felony offense, but some jurisdictions do classify certain sexual contact as a misdemeanor although significant jail time can still be imposed. In these cases, there was likely no penetration and the assault was likely an unwanted touching on a person’s intimate body part or parts. In other cases, there may have been sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor close to adult age who is not legally capable of consenting. This is a serious charge with substantial implications. An assault and battery attorney, or sexual assault lawyer, should be immediately retained in these cases.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

An assault with a weapon, not a firearm, that can cause serious bodily injury or death, constitutes this offense. A deadly weapon can include a baseball bat, golf club, knife, rock, bottle, or car. Normally, something like a pencil or a body part is not considered a deadly weapon unless it is used in a repeated fashion to inflict serious harm.

There is no requirement of physical contact; only that you brandished or threatened someone with a deadly weapon and intended to harm them.

The charge can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the weapon and if any serious injury resulted.


Battery is any offensive physical contact. It can include spitting if done maliciously. The contact can be to anything closely connected to the victim, such as being inside or on top of a car. Also, a battery assumes an assault was committed, which is why these are often charged together.

The offense can be a simple or an aggravated battery depending on whether a serious injury occurred, and charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.

Assault and battery is a serious offense and a conviction can adversely affect your reputation, employment, and ability to resume a normal life. Retain an assault and battery attorney if you face an assault and battery charge.



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