Difference Between Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are often associated with each other, so some of us think that they are somewhat the same. In a way, they are, because they essentially tackle threats of violence and physical altercations, that can lead to physical injury, emotional and psychological damage, and other inconveniences. But according to the website of Charleston personal injury lawyers, assault and battery are not exactly the same.

Assault happens when the conduct of another person gives you reasonable fear of bodily harm. For example, if a person threatens you of injury, and this person has the capability to actually execute it, he may be guilty of assault. The key here is knowing that the words the person uttered are not empty threats. They have the physical ability and the machinery to put the threats into action, putting you in a place of reasonable fear. This means that a person may be guilty of assault even though there is no physical contact yet.

For example, if a person throws a rock on you and he misses, he may be guilty of assault even though you are not hurt, because there is sufficient evidence for harm. If the rock hits you, the person may be charged with battery.

Battery happens when a person performs a violent act against you, regardless of the degree and force of the act. Examples of such violent acts are beating, using of dangerous objects that can cause injury, and using of weapons that can cause serious injury.

Below is the significant differences between assault and battery.

  • Assault does not require physical harm
  • Battery requires physical harm
  • A person who is guilty of assault is not necessarily charged with battery
  • A person who is guilty of battery is essentially guilty of assault as well
  • Assault may be hard to prove because it is not easy to provide evidence of threat
  • Battery may be easy to prove because of physical evidence
  • Battery often has a more severe punishment

The essential difference of assault and battery is the amount of contact between the assailant and the victim.

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