Are Assault and Battery the Same Thing?

Cesar Montalvo Criminal Law

What it Means to be Convicted of an Assault Charge. 

Assault is briefly an apprehension or perception of offensive contact. Typically, an assault requires an overt or direct act that would put a reasonable person in fear for their safety. Spoken words alone will not be enough of an act to constitute an assault unless the offender backs them up with an act or actions that put the victim in reasonable fear of imminent harm. If an individual acts in a way that’s considered dangerous to other people, that can be enough to support assault charges even if they did not intend a particular harm to a particular individual. Moreover, the intent to scare or frighten another person can be enough to establish assault charges, as well.

What it Means to be Convicted of the Charge of Battery

Generally, a victim does not need to be injured or harmed for someone to be arraigned for battery, so long as an offensive contact is involved. In a classic example, spitting on an individual does not physically injure them, but it nonetheless constitutes offensive contact sufficient for one to be incriminated for battery. Whether a particular contact is considered offensive is usually evaluated from the perspective of the “ordinary citizen.”

What are the Charges and Penalties for a Conviction of Assault and Battery?

Assault and battery can be charged in varying degrees depending on aggravating factors such as weapons and the ultimate injury. The punishment ranges for any state charge are as follows:

  • Class C Misdemeanor – No confinement, $500.00 Maximum Fine
  • Class B Misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in county jail confinement, $2,000.00 Maximum Fine
  • Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail confinement, $4,000.00 Maximum Fine
  • State Jail Felony – Up to 180 days to 2 years in State jail confinement, $10,000.00 Maximum Fine
  • 3rd Degree Felony – Between to 2-10 years in Prison, $10,000.00 Maximum Fine
  • 2rd Degree Felony – Between to 2-20 years in Prison, $10,000.00 Maximum Fine
  • 1st Degree Felony – Between to 5-99 years in Prison, $10,000.00 Maximum Fine

Learn more about how The Law Offices of Cesar A. Montalvo can help when you are accused assault and/or battery.