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There are many instances where we find ourselves in a heated situation. Tension can lead to arguments, and even physical contact. Thus, a simple fight may turn into an assault or perhaps a battery. These terms are used interchangeably as crimes involving physical attack fall under both assault and battery, however, they constitute two different crimes. If you have been accused of assault or battery, it is imperative that you learn about the difference between both of these terms.
Assault is referred to an attempt to use force or violence against another individual. The keyword here is “attempt”. For instance, if two individuals are having a heated argument and a person attempts to hit the other one, but misses, this could be described as assault despite the fact that there was no physical contact involved. If the same incident involves a weapon, then it will be considered an assault with a deadly weapon or aggravated assault. In 2015, an estimated 3 out of every 1000 people suffered from aggravated assault, as per the assault report published by Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
While assault refers to an intent to cause harm, battery involves actual use of force or violence against another individual. Despite the popular belief, it does not require actual harm to take place for an offense to be considered as a battery. For instance, if an individual cuts someone in queue and in the process pushes that person away, this may also constitute as battery despite the fact that the victim did not sustain an injury.
What Defenses Can Be Used?
Every individual is responsible for their own actions and has legal obligations to act in a way that does not cause harm to another person, thus provocation cannot be used as a valid defense. However, there are certain defenses that can be used against assault and battery charges.
The most common defense presented by defense counsel in a charge of assault and battery is self-defense. The act of self-defense is when an individual believes that they are in danger and hence retaliate or take necessary measures for the safety of themselves, another person or a property. Other defenses against a charge of assault and battery may include consent or perhaps incorrect identification by the eye-witness.
How Can A Defense Lawyer Help?
If you have been accused of assault or battery, it can be highly beneficial for your case to procure services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will ensure that your right remains protected throughout the litigation process.
A skillful criminal defense lawyer will gather evidence, issue subpoenas, and plan for your defense. Leveraging their vast experience of working on cases involving assault and battery, your criminal defense lawyer will devise a strong defense in your favor.
If you wish to know more about this subject or to schedule a free consultation, contact Ettinger & Besbekos at (708) 923-0368 to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.