When an individual is convicted of an assault and battery, they may not only be sentenced to prison and fined, but potentially be left with a permanent mark on their criminal record which may present obstacles such as finding employment, or renting an apartment / home. In the event of a felony conviction, you may lose some of your basic rights as an American citizen, possess a firearm, obtain or possess a passport, or your right to vote, just to name a few.
An assault occurs when an action or a threat places someone in imminent fear of a non-consensual touching. Assault does not have to involve physical contact. Defense of assault charges sometimes include self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property.
Battery can be defined as an intentional act of harmful or offensive touching of someone without permission. Accidental contact, no matter how severe, is not considered battery. To be charged with battery, the person who was physically harmed does not have to require medical treatment.
Assault and battery crimes are often associated with:
- An escalation of a verbal argument
- A personal, social or professional dispute or feud
- Domestic disputes
- Actions during crimes of opportunity in conjunction with other crimes such as theft, rape, or other serious crimes
There are also varying degrees of assault and battery crimes based on the circumstances and the severity of injuries which are caused. For example, weapons can elevate the severity of the offense.
When law enforcement investigates allegations of assault and battery, many times the eyewitnesses may not have seen the event in question start, and report what they observed, and who they perceived as the aggressor. Since law enforcement are initially focused on restoring order, due attention to fully investigate the assault and battery incident sometimes is lacking, and they simply arrest whomever they believe was involved or responsible. This often leads to individuals who were defending themselves or another being arrested on charges of assault and battery.