In the world of criminal acts, arrests, and convictions, there are two crimes that always seem to get paired with one another: assault and battery. So often does one accompany the other, most people have understandably come to the false conclusion that they are one and the same, a single criminal act combined into one. The reality is that assault and battery can and are often charged separately.
Assault is the act of intimidating or threatening someone with violence. If you raise your fist at someone and say you are going to hit them unless they walk away, you have just committed verbal assault. The same can be said if you take a swing at a person and miss. Any convincing display of promises of violence can constitute an assault.
Battery is the act of actually hitting and hurting someone. Taking a swing and landing a blow is battery. Throwing an object at someone during an argument and striking them is battery. If assault can be called a catalyst, then battery is the end result.
Why are Assault & Battery Usually Together?
If assault and battery are two different crimes with two distinct legal definitions, why are they so often listed on a single arrest report? Why do some states even have three distinct crimes: assault, battery, and assault and battery?
It may be due to the fact that once someone commits assault, there is usually nothing to stop them from continuing and committing battery. Someone who raises their fist and says they are going to hurt you probably will unless intervention happens immediately. It is also uncommon for someone to just commit battery, which would entail striking someone without any provocation, warning, or threat.
Understanding the differences between assault and battery is just the beginning of defending yourself from such charges, though. You need to be able to put that knowledge into action and start crafting a creative and effective criminal defense case. If you live in Connecticut and need professionals on your side to help you prove your innocence or secure a reduced sentencing, you should contact Carlson & Dumeer, LLC.
Our Hartford criminal defense attorneys can explain your legal options in a FREE case evaluation when you call toll-free (877) 795-5594 today.