Assault OR Battery: Not Two Crimes That are One & the Same

Assault and battery come together on rap sheets and criminal arrest records so often, it might seem unfathomable to think of them being separate crimes. As infrequently as it occurs, however, assault and battery are actually two different criminal charges, each with its own unique definition and potential punishments.

Assault is the action of threatening someone, using intimidation, or other violent gestures to instill them with fear for their well being. There is no physical contact in assault but rather the intention or possibility of physical harm soon to come. For example, a person who raises their fist at another and shouts that they will hit them in the face has committed assault.

Battery is the action of actually bringing physical pain to someone through intentional violence and maliciousness. Without physical contact, there is no battery. For example, walking up and smacking a person atop their head is a clear form of battery.

WHY ARE ASSAULT & BATTERY SO OFTEN TOGETHER?

Although they are different, fully separate crimes, assault and battery seem to come paired with one another as often as salt and pepper on dinner tables. Why does that seem to be the most common case? The explanation could be in human nature.

If someone is angry enough to openly and clearly threaten the wellbeing of another, they are likely to do all they can to fulfill on their promise. Thus, assault often preludes battery. Furthermore, random attacks without any warning or provocation are rare, so battery is even less likely to be all on its own. The end result is assault and battery appearing together on criminal records more frequently than the two of them being apart.

If you have been accused of assault and battery in Michigan, Rasor Law Firm and our Royal Oak criminal defense attorneys can help you build a case to defend your name. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation with our team – we have been protecting our clients since 1994!

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