Assault vs battery – What’s the difference?

Assault vs. battery – What’s the difference?

If you wind up arrested and charged with Assault vs. battery, then you might suddenly have many questions, including:
How much will a bail bondsman cost me?
What are the differences in their charges for assault and battery?
Which is more serious assault or battery?
What are the 3 elements of assault?
How long do I have to stay in jail after being caught with this?
What Are the Differences in Their Charges for Assault and Battery?
The specifics vary in many jurisdictions, but there is usually a lot of overlap between assault and battery. Both are considered to be violations of the law in regards to inflicting bodily harm. While some jurisdictions actually lump assault and battery together, there is one subtle difference between them, and that is actual physical contact. None has to take place for an action to be considered an assault.

Which Is More Serious Assault or Battery?

Many jurisdictions consider the battery to be more serious than assault. This reflects the fact that taking a swing and trying to hit someone could be considered assault, but actually landing that punch would be assault vs battery. However, both are serious legal charges that can lead up to fines, jail, and even prison What is an Arrest Warrant?.
The specific circumstances of the case are what are really important, as both assault and battery can actually be felonies depending on the severity of the incident that took place. Still, generally speaking, assault is usually the lesser of the two, even though many cases book both terms together given how much overlap there is in their definitions in many legal references.

What Are the 3 Elements of Assault?

The three elements of assault include:
1. Intent: Words alone do not constitute an assault vs battery or even intent. An accompanying act must also take place with an apparent capacity to actually carry the act out.
2. Causation: Something about the threat is imminent or about to happen, meaning the victim is aware of the threat. Pointing a gun at someone sleeping doesn’t count as assault, but sticking it in the face of someone conscious and aware is.
3. Apprehension of That Harmful Contact: The victim must be mentally disturbed by the possibility of the actor actually fulfilling the threatened contact. The threat must be considered valid and legitimate by a reasonable person.
Prosecutors must establish all three elements of this in order to convict someone of an assault charge. However, many actions that fail to meet all three of these criteria might still violate quite a few other laws along the way.

How Long I Have to Stay in Jail After Being Caught With This?

This will depend mostly on the seriousness of your case and where the incident took place. Sometimes, simple assaults that don’t actually result in physical contact will be a misdemeanor and 30 days in jail. In other cases, aggravated assault with a weapon that did result in physical harm to someone else can wind up leading to decades in prison.
As a general rule of thumb, a misdemeanor of either assault or battery can land you a fine and up to a year in jail, whereas a felony would be prison time of more than one calendar year.
Factors that can make an assault far more serious in the eyes of the law include whether or not the victim was a member of the legally protected classes in that jurisdiction, the use of a potentially deadly weapon, the intent of the perpetrator, and the extent of any injuries actually inflicted upon the victim.
In Summary
Being arrested and charged with assault, battery, or both can be a very stressful situation to go through after an ordeal that resulted in such actions by law enforcement. Many jurisdictions have subtle differences between the two charges, where quite a few others simply lump the two terms together. The battery is often the more serious of the two charges, but even assault is a very serious situation to be facing, which the prosecutors must prove all three elements of.