Difference Between Assault and Battery


Assault and battery are two very similar terms that can often be used interchangeably to describe the same incidences. However, there are several distinct differences surrounding the necessary burden of proof for each as well as the types of consequences that can occur. If you believe that you were the victim of an assault, get in touch with our Los Angeles assault and battery attorney today so that we can help you determine which legal option is right for your case.

What Constitutes An Assault?
An assault is considered to be a type of intentional act that’s designed to put another individual in fear or apprehension of being contacted in a harmful manner. Assault and battery lawyers will be able to help you determine if your case qualifies as an assault. In order for the incident to classify as an assault, the act will need to appear to be imminent. Even if this individual is unable to actually inflict the injury, the issue would still be classified as assault. This is true even if the harmful contact never took place. Creating a fear in someone that makes them feel as though they are about to be attacked is assault.

An example of an assault case is if someone tries to punch another individual but that person is able to dodge the punch just before they’re hit. In this case, the act of trying to punch someone would be an assault. Another common example of assault is when someone places a loaded or unloaded gun to another person’s head. The incident is still considered to be assault even if the attacker never pulled the trigger. In other cases, if the perpetrator had no intent of causing the person to fear being harmed, this likely wouldn’t be assault. The same is true of situations where someone threatens to hurt another individual in the future. Since the possible attack isn’t imminent, this wouldn’t qualify as an assault. If you believe that you’ve been assaulted, get in touch with our assault lawyer so that we can help you identify what your next steps should be.

What Constitutes Battery?
A battery is an incident that occurs when another individual has been intentionally contacted in a harmful or offensive manner without that person consenting to the contact. If you accidentally bump into a person while walking, this wouldn’t be considered battery. However, pushing someone on purpose will likely qualify as battery. Keep in mind that the contact can also be indirect contact that results from running into another individual’s car on purpose. It’s important to note that state laws can differ for criminal cases of battery, which is something that an assault and battery attorney like ours will be able to help you better understand.

When looking at the different types of cases that constitute battery, an example would be intentionally performing surgery on the wrong body part or throwing an object that hits another person. On the other hand, a hard hit in sports like football and basketball wouldn’t qualify as battery. If you have questions about battery, our Los Angeles assault and battery attorney can provide an informed answer to any question you might have.

Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases
When you’re thinking about retaining the services of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer for an injury that you’ve suffered from, it’s important that you’re aware of the difference between civil and criminal cases. Civil cases typically involve the filing of a personal injury lawsuit by the person who was injured in the assault or battery. The plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant was liable for the injuries that occurred, which an assault and battery attorney will be able to determine before the case goes to trial. A criminal case is one where a state government has brought charges against the defendant for the incident. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault or battery was committed. In the event that the defendant is guilty, penalties such as fines and jail time may be allotted.

How These Cases Are Defended
Whether the case is a criminal or civil one, it’s possible that the defendant won’t be liable for the injuries in certain situations, which assault and battery lawyers will be able to explain in more detail. If the victim actually gave consent to being touched in a certain manner, it’s possible that the defendant won’t be liable for the injury. This is particularly true if the contact did not extend further than what the victim had consented to.

If you’ve recently been the victim of an assault, contact our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free consultation. Our assault lawyer at the Law Offices of Mann & Elias can assist you with the particulars of your case to determine if it can go forward.