Fisher Law Office

What's the difference between assault and battery charges?

Do you know what assault charges could mean for your life? Are you facing accusations of battery yet feeling unsure of what that means? Most people have heard of assault and battery, but most are unaware that these are two separate charges. While they often go together, they are not the same thing, and it could prove useful for you to learn the difference. 

Any type of criminal charge that involves violence and causing harm to another person is serious. While it may not seem serious to you, especially if you did not mean to cause any harm, it is in your interests to take your case seriously. A conviction of any type of crime could result in penalties that may alter the course of your life.

Assault: no contact necessary

When you think of assault, you may think of an act of violence or something that resulted in another person suffering harm. It may surprise you to learn that you could actually face assault charges even if there were no injuries involved. It may help you to understand the following about the elements of an assault charge:

  • It involves the intentional attempt of causing harm to another person.
  • No contact is necessary for an assault to occur.

Even if no one suffers harm and you made no physical contact with another person, you could still face assault charges. That is because the basis of these allegations is a person's intent, not necessarily physical damage. It is difficult to prove why a person acted in a certain way, and you can challenge any evidence against you that supposedly proves your intent.

Battery: physical contact required

In order for a person to face battery charges, there must be evidence of harmful or offensive unwanted contact. This means you could face battery charges if you touch someone without consent even if there was no injury. It may help to understand the following about battery charges:

  • An injury or physical harm is not necessary for battery charges.
  • Battery charges do not pertain to a person's intent.

You could face battery charges even if you did not have the intention of causing harm or offending another person. 

A strong defense against these charges

You do not have to face allegations of assault and battery alone. You can start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible after an arrest. Speaking with an experienced California defense attorney can help you understand what legal options may be available to you.

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Fisher Law Office

1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

Phone: 805-706-0205
Fax: 805-542-0464
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