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The Differences of Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are often charged together, but it is important to note that they can be separate offenses. Assault refers to the threat of harm, causing reasonable fear to the victim, while battery refers to the actual act of harming. It means that when someone has threatened another person, this someone may be liable for assault, but not battery. If this someone has really harmed the person, he or she may be liable for battery.

The reason why assault and battery are almost always charged together is the fact that, most of the time, those who harm other persons threaten them first before committing the harming act.

The person threatening the other should have the means to pull off the threat, giving the other reasonable fear of harm. For example, shoving a gun in front of a person may be considered assault, because the gun is already there and the threatened person has reason to believe that he or she is about to be harmed.

But the presence of weapons is not just the factor that determines assault. Even mere threats of violence in the future can count as assault, especially if the person is believed to have the means and machinery to really harm the threatened person.

Battery is violent physical contact. If a person hits another with a baseball bat, cuts another with a knife, or punches another in the face, he or she may be charged with battery, especially if the physical contact has resulted into physical injury.

But take note that battery does not just involve the use of weapons and other violent acts. Even simple behaviors like pushing another person may count as battery. The key is that the person appears to have the intention to harm another, even if the victim has not been harmed in the most basic meaning of the term.

Since assault and battery can be very complicated, these charges may be exaggerated and misunderstood, resulting into unfair fines and penalties. These consequences can be serious and greatly affect the life of the accused. But according to the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., these charges can be defended. This proves that the law is willing to hear the sides of both accused and accuser, which is a good thing.